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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…

Malaysia: Two arrested for drug trafficking

Drug bust at a Malaysian Airport
Drug bust at a Malaysian Airport
A 44-year-old local was charged in the High Court here Thursday with trafficking 71.03gm of syabu.

Ibrahim Tabarak pleaded not guilty before Judge Ravinthran N. Paramaguru to committing the offence at 5.10pm on Sept 1, 2015 at the ferry terminal in Labuan.

He was charged under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which carries the death penalty on conviction.

The court set May 9-13 for trial in Labuan and March 30 for case management.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Farrah Farriza Wan Ghazali prosecuted while Ibrahim was represented by counsel Ram Singh, Timothy Daut and YS Lo.

Meanwhile, in the Magistrate's Court, 4 people were jailed for committing various drug-related offences.

Akmad Syah, who pleaded guilty before Magistrate Cindy Mc Juce Balitus to having 1.7gm of syabu on Jan 11, was jailed 17 months.

Nisbah Abu Jain was jailed 6 months for having 0.04gm of syabu on Dec 4, last year at Sinsuran, here.

Ridzuan Abdul and Sherah Salleh, who admitted to taking drugs on Jan 11, were jailed 5 months and 4 months respectively. Inspector Isfandiar Jasdi prosecuted.

A 35- year-old local man here is likely to face the death penalty for involvement in trafficking 353.27 gm of syabu with a street value of RM38,500.

The man was nabbed by a police anti-narcotics team who raided the suspect's house at Rancha-Rancha after a public tip-off around 11.30 pm on Feb 16.

"There was a scuffle between our anti-narcotics personnel and the suspect, who sustained some injuries. He was caught with a package containing 7 plastic packets of the drug," Labuan police chief Supt Adzhar Othman told reporters Friday.

He said the man who also tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine was being remanded under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows for detention of a suspect for more than 24 hours to enable police to complete their investigation.

"Under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act, drug traffickers caught with synthetic narcotics weighing more than 50 grams faces the mandatory death sentence if convicted," Adzhar said.

Source: Daily Mail Online, Bernama, Feb. 19, 2016

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