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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…

Indonesia will maintain death penalty for drugs traffickers

The government will continue to hand out the death sentence to big players in drug trafficking world despite criticism from foreign countries and human rights activists, arguing that consistency in law enforcement is the key to success in curbing the distribution of drugs.

"The best way to reduce the trafficking of drugs is through consistency. We have no tolerance for drug dealers," said the Jakarta head of the National Narcotics Board (BNN), Brig. Gen. Ali Johardi at a press conference in Jakarta to launch the annual International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) report on Thursday.

The country manager of the UN office on drugs and crime (UNODC) in Indonesia, Collie F. Brown, took the opportunity to reinstate the UN's opposition to the death penalty. Brown urged countries to find an alternative punishment for drug traffickers.

Attorney General M Prasetyo has stressed that a third round of drug convict executions would be carried out this year.

To date, 14 drugs drug convicts have been executed. The previous executions received strong criticism from anti-death penalty activists and caused a temporary souring of diplomatic relations with a number of countries including Brazil and Australia.

Johardi said the government was considering the development of a prison island, which will be used for drug-lord convicts, an idea proposed by BNN chief Budi Waseso.

There is a possibility, the idea was further discussed during the agency's recent meeting with the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs, Johardi added.

Source: Jakarta Post, March 4, 2016

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