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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…

Nigeria: 3 years after, killer of 11 police to die by hanging

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The Oporoma Judicial Division of the High Court in Bayelsa State has sentenced to death by hanging 1 of the killers of the 11 policemen at Lobia 2 community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on April 5, 2013.

The accused, Mr. Jackson Feutubobai, known along the creeks and waterways as Jasper, was found guilty on all the 11-count charge of murder.

Jackson Feutubobai, according to the charge sheet numbered OHC/3c/2014, was accused of killing one Police Inspector, Joseph Ofozini.

Police prosecutor told the court that the accused had over 5 cases in various courts bothering on alleged kidnapping, sea piracy and involvement in the killing of 11 policemen in 2013.

The presiding Judge of the State High Court, Justice M.A Ayemieye, after taking into account the nature of the offence and the passionate plea for mercy made by the counsel for the convict, ordered that the sentence of murder was death and that it was mandatory.

Justice Ayemieye ruled and sentenced the accused to death by hanging.

The State Prosecuting Counsel, Arthur Andrew Seweniowor, while speaking with newsmen, said if the accused failed to appeal in 3 months, the governor would sign his death warrant and he would be hanged.

The counsel to the accused Efieseimokumo Bipeledei pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying the accused person was a family man who had 5 children who were all depending on him.

He said imposing the maximum penalty would truncate the destiny of all the children, who were all minors, urging the court to convert the punishment to terms of imprisonment.

The court also discharged and acquitted the 2nd accused person identified as ThankGod Clinton Ezetu after no evidence was linked to him on the murder of the 11 policemen.

Source: Daily Times of Nigeria, March 24, 2016

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