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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…

ISIS extremists throw Syrian teenage boy off a roof for being gay

Militants of the Islamic State throw a young man off a roof in Nineveh for being gay. File photo
Militants of the Islamic State throw a young man
off a roof in Nineveh for being gay. (File photo)
The 15-year-old was reportedly found 'in the house of an ISIS leader,' though that leader was spared the brutal death sentence meted out to the teenager. 

Militants with the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have reportedly thrown a 15-year-old boy from the roof of a building in the northern Syrian city of Deir ez-Sor, reports ARA News.

Friday’s execution is the latest report of deadly violence targeting those believed to be (or accused of being) gay in the Middle Eastern regions controlled by the the terrorist group also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh.

As with other antigay executions, the young man’s murder was conducted in front of a large crowd, who watched as militants bound and blindfolded the 15-year-old, before throwing him off the roof to his death. 

In similar incidents over the past year, victims who have survived the fall have been stoned to death by militants and residents waiting on the ground. Other executions have contained beheadings of people thought to be LGBT or otherwise at odds with the group's radical interpretation of Islam. 

ARA News reports that the young boy was allegedly arrested “in the house of an ISIS leader” on Thursday. That leader, identified by the news site as Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi, was also sentenced to death by a Sharia court, but militants convinced leaders to strip al-Jazrawi of his position, and send him to fight on the front lines in Iraq. 

According to the militants’ interpretation of Islam — which many Muslim clerics have denounced as wholly un-Islamic — Sharia law requires those convicted of the “crime” of homosexuality to be thrown from the tallest building in the city where the victim was arrested. 

Although there is no verified total number of victims killed for being “gay” by Daesh militants, an August meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York City reported that militants have executed at least 30 people suspected of being LGBT in the past year

Source: advocate.com, Sunnivie Brydum, January 2, 2016
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