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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…

Pakistan army confirms death sentences for 12 militants

Pakistan has hanged nearly 350 inmates, mostly routine criminals, since lifting a 2008 moratorium on executions in 2014.

The death sentences of 12 hardcore militants was confirmed on Thursday by army Chief General Raheel Sharif, days after they were given death penalty by the military courts for committing "heinous offences relating to terrorism".

The convicts were found guilty of various acts of terrorism in the country, including breaking of Bannu Jail, attacks on armed forces, law enforcement agencies and civilians, army said in statement.

"Today Chief of Army Staff confirmed death sentences awarded to another 12 hardcore terrorists, who were involved in committing heinous offences relating to terrorism," it said.

The convicts were tried by military courts set up after attack at Peshawar school on December 16, 2014 which killed at least 150 people, mostly students.

The venue and timing of trial was kept secret due to security reasons.

Already several militants conceited by these courts have been hanged, including the facilitators of the Peshawar school attack.

Source: Deccan Chronicle, Feb. 11, 2016

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