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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 fighter executes own mother in Syria for 'apostasy,' rights groups say

ISIS Publicly Executes A Man In Raqqa in January 2016.
ISIS Publicly Executes A Man In Raqqa in January 2016
(CNN) An ISIS fighter has executed his own mother before a public audience, an expat Syrian rights group said.

The 20-year-old killed his mother in the Syrian city of Raqqa, ISIS' de facto capital, as hundreds looked on near the post office where she worked, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

ISIS had accused her of apostasy after her son turned her in, the activists said. She allegedly had been "inciting her son to leave the Islamic State." 

She wanted to escape with him and told him "that the coalition will kill all members of the organization."

The observatory reported that the victim was in her 40s. 

The activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently reported that she was 35.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the reports of the rights groups.

ISIS has fostered a reputation of extremism by carrying out executions such as beheadings, mass shootings and burnings on camera and posting video of them to social media.

Source: CNN, January 8, 2016

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