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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

Indonesia: Presidential Guard Member Caught With Drugs at N. Sumatra Airporti

Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces
Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces
Medan. A member of Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces (Paspampres) was caught on Monday trying to bring a small amount of narcotics on board a civilian airplane at Kualanamu International Airport in North Sumatra.

Police said Pvt. First Class Frestiyan Ardha Pranatha had half a pill of ecstasy and 0.35 grams of crystal methamphetamine hidden in his head wear when he was trying to board a Garuda Indonesia flight to Jakarta.

"He was detained by Kualanamu Airport security officials during an X-ray check," said Adj. Sr. Comr. M. Edi Faryadi, the head of police in Deli Serdang district, where the airport is located.

Edi added that the suspect had been handed over to the military police and taken to Jakarta.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said the palace "deeply regretted" the incident and added that the government was expecting appropriate punishment.

"[This goes for] whoever gets caught, but especially for Paspampres members, who are carefully selected," Pramono said.

"This is not good, and it is not a good example," he added. "If necessary, [the soldier has to be] removed [from his position]."

The fight against drug abuse is one of President Joko Widodo's stated policy priorities and sparked international outrage last year when 14 drug convicts, including 12 foreigners, were executed.


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