FEATURED POST

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Image
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…

Five Hanged in Northern Iran on Drug Charges

On the morning of Saturday April 9, 5 prisoners were reportedly hanged at Rasht's Lakan Prison (in the provine of Gilan, northern Iran) on drug charges.

The prisoners had reportedly been transferred out of their wards on Thursday April 7 and taken to solitary confinement cells in preparation for their executions.

According to close sources, Rashid Kouhi, Seyed Javad Mirzadeh and Hossein Farhadi are the names of 3 of the prisoners. 

Iran Human Rights is in the process of investigating the identities of the 2 other prisoners. 

All 5 prisoners were reportedly on death row for drug related offenses.

According to Amnesty International, 36-year-old Rashid Kouhi was arrested in September 2011 and sentenced to death by the revolutionary court in Rudbar (a county in Gilan) for possession and trafficking 800 grams of methamphetamine. 

Close sources say prison authorities contacted Kouhi's family on April 7 and instructed them to come in for their last visit with him on Friday April 8 before his scheduled execution the next day.

Iranian authorities have admitted multiple times in the past that the death penalty has not decreased the volume of drug crimes in Iran, but Iranian authorities still continue to hang prisoners on drug charges. 

Human rights groups, including Iran Human Rights, have reported close to a thousand executions carried out in Iran in 2015.

 According to the annual death penalty report by Iran Human Rights, 66% of the executions carried out in 2015 in Iran were for drug related offenses.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 10, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Texas executes Juan Castillo

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Five executed in Iran, two hanged in public

What Indiana officials want to keep secret about executions

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Texas prisons taking heat over aging execution drugs experts say could cause 'torturous' deaths

Bangladesh to oppose gay rights and abolishment of death penalty at UN