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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: ISIS release death list of executions

Reading out a death sentence: a daily occurrence in ISIS-controlled territories
Reading out a death sentence: a daily occurrence in ISIS-controlled territories
March 2, 2016: Islamic State militants have released a “death list” of 1,065 people they have murdered in one city in the past year.

The grim document has been put up in police stations and a hospital.

It contains the details of “criminals” who have been “punished” by jihadis in Mosul, Iraq.

Those put to death include teachers, moderate religious leaders and doctors who oppose the group’s brutal methods.

Most were executed in the desert and their bodies dumped in a mass grave.

And relatives themselves risk execution if they show emotion at seeing a loved one’s name on the list, as an outpouring of grief is viewed as a criticism of the regime’s actions.

Isis punishes locals for “crimes” including smoking and watching football.

Mosul resident Omar Jirjis said: “Dozens of people came to the centre to search for the names of relatives.

“Members of the group were heavily armed and they were watching reactions of the people closely.

"This meant that anyone who did see the name of a loved one on the list couldn’t even complain.

"They knew Isis members wouldn’t hesitate to kill anyone who curses the organisation’s name or objects to its verdicts.

“I saw a man putting his hand over the mouth of one of the women who came.” 

Source: dailystar.co.uk, March 2, 2016

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