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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…

Sri Lanka Death Row Inmates Get Sentences Commuted To Life

Following a set of recommendations made by a committee appointed to look into the death sentence issued on several convicts, it has been decided to convert the death sentence imposed on 34 of those convicts into life imprisonment.

President Maithripala Sirisena had taken the decision after considering the reports on the 34 convicts submitted by the committee which was appointed by the former President.

The committee has also finalized reports on another 60 convicts on death row and these reports will also be handed over to the President for his consideration, a committee member told The Sunday Leader.

Since the death sentence is not implemented in Sri Lanka an issue has arisen on the convicts who are on death row.

Human rights groups have urged the Sri Lankan government not to implement the death sentence despite pressure from some groups and individuals following a spate of gruesome murders in the country.

Source: The Sunday Leader, Feb. 8, 2016

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