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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…

Mississippi: Death Penalty Expanded To Cover Other Crimes

JACKSON,MS (WCBI) – A bill expanding Mississippi’s capital punishment law is heading to the Senate. 

The State House today okayed a measure that would call for the death penalty for people convicted of killing a broader range of public servants. 

The bill protects first responders, ambulance workers, and paramedics. 

The House version was expanded to also include uniformed security guards and utility workers.

The Senate must now pass the bill before it becomes law.

Source: WCBI, March 8, 2016

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