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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…

U.S. Supreme Court refuses Clinton Lee Young's death-row appeal

Clinton Lee Young
Clinton Lee Young
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review an appeal from an East Texas man on death row for killing 2 men days apart during a crime trek across the state more than 14 years ago.

The high court made no comment Monday in its decision on the appeal from 32-year-old Clinton Lee Young.

The ruling upholds a federal appeals court's rejection last summer of arguments that Young had deficient legal help at his 2002 trial in Midland and that prosecutors improperly withheld evidence.

Young, from Ore City in Upshur County, was convicted and condemned for the November 2001 fatal shootings of Doyle Douglas in Longview and then Samuel Petrey a day or 2 later in a Midland oil field after carjacking him in Eastland, about 53 miles east of Abilene.

Source: Associated Press, March 21, 2016

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