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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…

Saudi Arabia: Two Executed for Murder

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Two prisoners convicted of murder were executed in Saudi Arabia on January 4 and 6.

Ahmed Obeid al-Amri al-Harbi was found guilty of shooting a man dead following a dispute, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

He was executed on January 4 in the Qassim province, north of Riyadh, it said.

On January 6, Saud bin Mohammed al-Shalwi was convicted of shooting dead Mohammed bin Safar al-Harithi following a dispute, the ministry said in a statement published on the official SPA news agency.

He was executed in the western city of Taif, it said.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, where the interior ministry says the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.

Amnesty says Saudi Arabia had the world's 3rd-highest number of executions last year, after China and Iran.



Under the kingdom's strict Islamic legal code, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Source: Agence France-Presse, January 4-6, 2016


Saudi Executed for Murder

January 12, 2016: Saudi Arabia put to death one of its citizens convicted of murder, bringing to 51 the number of locals and foreigners executed this year.

Mishari al-Anzi was convicted of shooting dead another Saudi during a dispute, the interior ministry said.

Source: Agence France-Presse, January 12, 2016

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