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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…

Saudi Arabia: Death penalty sought for 28 espionage suspects

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Manama: A government prosecutor called for the death penalty for 28 suspects -- 27 Saudis and one Afghan -- and for severe jail terms for the remaining four, three Saudis and one Iranian.

A business analyst and a security serviceman are among the 32 people put on trial in Saudi Arabia this week for spying for Iran.

The 32 suspects are accused of high treason against the kingdom by collaborating with Iranian intelligence.

The security serviceman worked for a sector tasked with the security and safety of pilgrims, the court in the capital Riyadh heard as the last eight suspects, all Saudi nationals, went on trial on Tuesday, Saudi daily Okaz reported.

The serviceman asked the judges to name a lawyer to defend him, explaining that he did not have the financial resources to hire an attorney.

However, a judge told him that he would have to pay the state back in case it was found out that he was financially able to hire a lawyer, he changed his mind and said he would have his own lawyer, Okaz said.

Another suspect who pleaded to be bailed out was told that he needed the approval of the interior minister and that he should fill in an application.

Source: Gulf News, Feb. 25, 2016

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