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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 executes two citizens for murder

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia executed two citizens convicted of murder on Wednesday, raising to 81 the number of death sentences carried out in the ultra-conservative kingdom this year.

Dhafer and Hussein al-Mutliq were found guilty of killing fellow Saudis Azeb and Mahdi al-Moamer in a dispute between the two families, the interior ministry said.

They were both executed in Najran, in the south, a ministry statement carried by the official SPA news agency said.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

The executions so far this year include 47 for “terrorism” carried out in a single day on January 2.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people, most of them for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP count.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia last year was the highest for two decades.

The kingdom is one of the world’s top executioners, although its tally in 2015 was far behind those of China and Iran.

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 30, 2016


Saudi executes Pakistani convicted of murder

RIYADH: Saudi authorities executed a Pakistani convicted of killing a Bangladeshi woman on Sunday, raising to 79 the number of death sentences they have carried out this year.

Elias Ismail was found guilty of fatally stabbing Hajar Hussein during a robbery and was executed in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, an interior ministry statement carried by the official SPA news agency said.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

The executions so far this year include 47 for “terrorism” carried out in a single day on January 2.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people, most of them for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP count.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia last year was the highest for two decades.

The kingdom is one of the world’s top executioners, although its tally in 2015 was far behind those of China and Iran

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 27, 2016

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