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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…

Taliban Reportedly Execute Afghan Woman For Adultery

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says Ghor is among the provinces with the highest number of so-called Taliban "desert courts."

Afghan officials say a woman has been executed after being accused of adultery in a remote Taliban-controlled village in the western province of Ghor.

Abdul Hai Khatibi, a provincial government spokesman, said on February 8 that the execution was carried out in the remote Taliban-controlled village of Zanu on February 5.

The woman was identified by her 1st name, Zahra, but her age was unknown.

Khatibi said Zahra was detained by the Taliban along with a man, identified as Ayub. Ayub was shot while trying to flee and is currently in Taliban captivity, the spokesman said.

However, district Governor Muhammad Hussein Daneshyar told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the woman was shot dead by her husband, who accused her of having an extramarital affair.

Afghan official say the area has been under militant control for more than a year.

There was no comment from the Taliban.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says Ghor is among the provinces with the highest number of so-called Taliban "desert courts."

Source: rawa.org, Feb. 9, 2016

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