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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…

Iraqi president signs execution orders for convicted terrorists

Iraqi President Fouad Massoum on Sunday execution orders for offenders convicted of terrorist offenses, his spokesman announced.

Khalid Shwani, the official spokesman of Iraqi president, explained that this was the 3rd batch of executions that Massoum had signed for terrorist offenses, but did not disclose how many were endorsed.

"Fouad Massoum, President of Iraq, signed the 3rd waves of capital punishment," Shwani said.

He added that the orders are for "all offenders who have been convicted of terror-related offenses."

Shwani said that signing the orders mean that the death sentences imposed on the offenders now moves into the implementation stage.

He assured the Iraqi nation that the decisions came after a special committee had investigated the cases.

Last year, Shwani told Rudaw that from 2006 to 2015, Iraqi courts issued execution orders for 667 individuals, of whom 170 were convicted of terror-related offenses.

Source: Rudaw.net, Feb 1, 2016

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