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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…

Florida death row inmate wants early execution

Wayne Doty
Wayne Doty
BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla.--A two-time convicted murderer is asking for mercy from the courts, but not for a lesser sentence. Wayne Doty, who is on death row, wants to waive his right to counsel and be executed without post conviction proceedings.

The Bradford County Courthouse held a hearing to first determine if Wayne Doty was competent. This morning we heard from three expert witnesses testifying Doty is competent enough to make an informed decision and recognizes the consequences of his decision. One witness even stated Doty, who has an 8th grade formal education, was of above average intelligence and his reasonings for wanting to be executed now were logical.

After Judge Nilon found Doty competent, the Court proceeded with a Durocher/Faretta hearing to determine whether Doty can not only discharge his counsel, but also dismiss pending post conviction proceedings in both state and federal courts. The judge said it was his obligation as a judge, and human being, to advise Doty to reconsider. In response, Doty said he would stick with his decision and feels he deserves he punishment that's been given.

The hearing lasted about four hours and Judge Nilon listened as Doty made his case for continuing without an attorney. Doty admitted during his initial trial, he didn't have any emotional feelings toward the victims or their families. However now, Doty wants everybody he hurt to move on and he doesn't think that can happen while he's still in prison.

"I've been a prosecutor since 1973," says state attorney Bill Cervone, "and this is the first time I've been through a proceeding like this where a defendant is as articulate and specific in outlining his requests that all proceedings stop and that the sentence of the law be carried out."

The judge did not make a ruling on the Durocher/Faretta hearing today, but says he hopes to rule in a reasonable time.

"Once the judge enters his order, whatever that may be, an automatic appeal [will be made] to the Florida Supreme Court," says Cervone.

At this time we do not know when the judge will make his ruling. Even when his decision is made, we won't know when the Florida Supreme Court can hear Doty's case.

Source: wcjb.com, April 1, 2016

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