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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…

Board of Pardons and Paroles denies clemency for Georgia death row inmate scheduled to die Wednesday

Daniel Lucas
Daniel Lucas
The state parole board has denied clemency for a Georgia death row inmate scheduled to die this week.

Daniel Anthony Lucas is set to be put to death Wednesday at the state prison in Jackson by injection of the barbiturate pentobarbital.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles is the only entity authorized to commute a death sentence in Georgia. The board denied clemency Tuesday after holding a hearing.

Lucas was sentenced to death for the April 1998 killings of 37-year-old Steven Moss, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kristin, who interrupted a burglary at their home near Macon in central Georgia.

Lucas' lawyers have said his childhood was plagued by drugs and violence. 

They say he's been reformed in prison and should be spared.

Lucas would be the 5th inmate executed in Georgia this year.

Source: Associated Press, April 26, 2016

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