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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…

Indonesia: Police Officer Sentenced to Death in Medan Drug Smuggling Case

Drug bust by Indonesian police
Drug bust by Indonesian police
Medan, North Sumatra. Two people, including a police officer, have been sentenced to death while the son of one of the convicts will spend his life in prison after the trio was found guilty of smuggling crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy pills from Malaysia into Medan, North Sumatra.

A police officer was sentenced to death while his son for life for smuggling ten kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 271 ecstasy pills from Malaysia into the provincial capital, officials said on Wednesday (17/02).

The Tanjung Balai District Court sentenced 48-year-old Adj. First Insp. Mustajab of the North Sumatra Regional Police and his partner, a 50-year-old civilian identified as Syahdan, to death while Mustajab's 22-year-old son Reza Maulana will spend life behind bars.

Syahdun was arrested by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) in 2015 after transporting hundreds of ecstasy pills in his boat. After questioning, the authorities found Mustajab and Reza were also involved in the international drug network.

The father and son were arrested in the province's Tanjung Balai Selatan and were found to have 10 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in their home.

“Their crime potentially jeopardizes the country's future generation. In addition, Mustajab is a police officer who has abused his authority. Mustajab and Syahdan are also repeat offenders for being drug couriers for three times. Nothing can make the sentence lighter,” presiding Judge Ulina Marbun said on Wednesday at the Court.

Indonesia's legal system takes a tough approach to those found guilty of drug crimes. In April 2015, eight people were executed at Cilacap's Nusakambangan Prison in Central Java — seven of them were foreigners.

Source: Jakarta Globe, Feb. 18, 2016

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