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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…

Iraq: 20 executed, 70 waiting: Minister

March 13, 2016: Iraqi Justice Minister Haidar al-Zamili disclosed that 20 death verdicts were executed on March 6 for different charges, including Arab terrorists. 

He added that the ministry has 65-70 other execution verdicts which await implementation after the final approvals of the judicial authorities. 

Minister Zamili added that some of the convicted terrorists are from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi and Iraqis. 

Among the executed prisoners there was Saudi Abdullah Mahmous Sydat, who was being held in Al-Nasiryah Prison, south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

According to Al-Riyadh newspaper, the Iraqi Ministry of Justice pronounced the death sentence for Sydat after convicting him of terrorism.

According to the newspaper, the Iraqi ministry notified the Saudi Embassy in Bagdad of the conviction and actual execution of Sydat a few days ago. Sources confirmed, however, that the execution was carried out on March 6 and that the embassy was only notified of the decision after the execution took place.

The family of the prisoner said they were notified about his execution on March 10 by the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, but were not given any further details.

Sydat left the Kingdom for Iraq in 2007 and was arrested on charges of terrorism during his time there. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, which was later upgraded to the death sentence.

The man, who has two children, had asked that he be buried in Madinah. 

Sources: Hands Off Cain, arabnews.com, Iraq TradeLink, March 13, 2016

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