In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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…

Joko Underlines Need for Tougher Measures in Indonesia's War Against Drugs

Portrait of Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, by Myuran Sukumaran, executed by firing squad on Nusa Kambangan, Indonesia, on April 29, 2015.
Portrait of Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, by Myuran Sukumaran,
executed by firing squad on Nusa Kambangan, Indonesia, on April 29, 2015.
Jakarta. President Joko Widodo has reiterated the importance of Indonesia's war against drugs in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (24/02), following a National Police report that said drug trafficking had increased 13.6 percent last year.

Joko instructed ministries and law enforcement institutions to take more assertive actions against drug trafficking violations, calling the effort the government's number one priority.

“Close all the cracks for drug-smuggling efforts in every entrance [to the country], including in ports and airports – even small ports,” Joko said at State Palace in Central Jakarta, as quoted by the Cabinet Secretariat.

The president also instructed police to monitor and search for drug-smuggling activities in every inch of the country, including in prisons.

“Routinely, at least twice a month, prisons should be checked by the BNN [National Narcotic Agency] and National Police with backup from the military as the amount of drugs circulating inside prisons could account for more than 50 percent of drugs circulation [in the country],” Joko said.

According to National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti, police arrested 50,178 suspects from 40,253 cases related to drugs offenses in 2015, while the BNN handled another 655 cases. He said the figure indicated a dangerous situation for the country.

Police confiscated 23.3 tons of marijuana, 2.3 tons of crystal methamphetamine and 1.072 million ecstasy pills during drug raids last year, Badrodin said, adding that the amount could be only less than 20 percent of the total amount circulating in the country.

National Police will implement three strategic actions in its attempt to eradicate drug circulation: strengthening preventive measures, performing more assertive law enforcement against drug offenders and tightening security at all points of entry into the country.

Badrodin said rehabilitation for drug-users is also among the top priorities of police, the Social Affairs Ministry and the Health Ministry.

BNN will lead the movement against drug-trafficking with support from the National Police, Indonesian Military (TNI), National Intelligent Agency (BIN) and several related ministries.

Source: The Jakarta Globe, Feb. 25, 2016

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