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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…

Nine 'Hardcore Terrorists' Given Death Penalty in Pakistan

VOA News -- Pakistan's military courts have handed down the death penalty to nine men the courts described as "hardcore terrorists."

The military said Friday the condemned men include an al-Qaida militant and a member of the Pakistani Taliban.

It was not immediately clear when or where the men would be executed.

Pakistan lifted a 2008 moratorium on the death penalty after a massacre at a Peshawar school killed 134 children in 2014.

Critics say the military court trials fail to meet fair trial standards.

Pakistan hanged 326 people in 2015.

Source: VOA News, January 1, 2016

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