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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…

Indonesian government uncertain on use of death penalty in 2016

JAKARTA: The Indonesian government is yet to decide on whether it will execute drug traffickers this year, but has said it will focus more on improving the economy for the next seven to eight months.

“We’ll see what happens. We are still studying this very carefully. Maybe we could [continue with executions] this year, or maybe next year,” Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said in Jakarta on Friday.

Luhut said Indonesia had been disturbed by noisy, annoying comments from the public about the death penalty’s implementation. “So we have to calculate very carefully when using the death penalty,” he said.

According to 2015 data from the National Narcotics Agency, there are 14 drug convicts currently waiting to face the firing squad. 

Last year Indonesia put to death 14 drug convicts, including two Australians that were part of the Bali Nine group, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Source: The Jakarta Post, March 12 2016

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