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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…

Saudi Arabia: 5 executed as toll hits 69

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia
March 1, 2016: A Qatari and a Jordanian were among five people executed in Saudi Arabia, bringing to 69 the number of people it has put to death this year.

The Qatari, Mohammed Jarboui, was executed in the eastern region of Al-Ahsa after being convicted of murdering a Saudi, the interior ministry said.

Sliman and Ahmed Messoudi were put to death in the northern Tabuk region for trafficking amphetamines, the ministry said in a separate statement.

The Jordanian, Abdallah Tayaha, was also convicted of amphetamine trafficking. He was put to death in the northwestern Jawf region, it said.

Amphetamines are stimulants most often targeted at students and labourers in the kingdom, interior ministry spokesman General Mansour al-Turki told reporters last week.

He added that war-ravaged Syria has become one of the biggest producers of the drug.

The fifth person to be executed was Kassadi Atoudi, put to death in the southern region of Jazan following his conviction for murder. 

Source: Middle East Online, March 2, 2016

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