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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…

Waiting to die: the Iranian child inmates facing execution – in pictures

In Iran, girls are held criminally accountable by law from the age of nine, and can be sentenced to death by hanging for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and armed robbery.

Sadegh Souri, documentary winner at the 2015 Lens Culture visual storytelling awards, has photographed girls in the harsh conditions of juvenile detention – many of whom are marking time until they turn 18, when their executions will be carried out...


Mahsa is 17. She fell in love with a boy and intended to marry him, but her father was against the marriage. One day she had an argument with her father, got angry, and killed him with a kitchen knife. Mahsa’s brothers are requesting the death penalty for her.

Photograph: Words and pictures from Waiting for Capital Punishment, by Sadegh Souri








Shaqayeq, 15, has been in prison for almost a year on the charge of armed robbery from a chain store in Tehran. She and her boyfriend entered the store, and when the police arrived, her boyfriend escaped but Shaqayeq was arrested. Her death sentence has been issued and she must reach 18 so the verdict can be carried out. Her grandmother came to visit her after a year.






Click here to read the full article/view all photos

Source: The Guardian, January 8, 2016

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