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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…

Indonesia announces next 10 to be executed, all foreigners convicted of drug crimes

It has been nearly a year since April 29, 2015, the last time Indonesia carried out the death penalty. On that day, a firing squad executed eight people convicted of drug-related crimes, despite the pleas and outcry of the international community. 


But various officials since then have been adamant that executions would eventually resume, and now we know they were quite serious. Yesterday, the government announced the names of the next 10 people set to be executed in Indonesia. All of them are foreigners who have been found guilty of various drug-related crimes.

Of the 10 foreigners set to executed, four are Nigerian (Humphrey Ejike, Eugene Ape, Ekpere Dike Ole Kamma, and Frank Chidebere Nwakome), two are Malaysian (Lee Chee Hen and Tham Tuck Yin), two are American (Frank Amado, and Lim Jit Wee), one is Zimbabwean (Federik Luttar) and one is Senegalese (Seck Osmane).

With the exception of Senegal, all of those set to be executed are from countries where the death penalty is still practiced. Some have speculated that might be to shield Indonesia from the same kind of criticism the government received during the last round of executions from countries such as Australia where the death penalty has been abolished.

Not included among those set to be executed is Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino woman who was given a last minute stay of execution last year after officials from the Philippines successfully lobbied the Indonesian government to allow her to live while the woman who allegedly tricked her into being a drug smuggler underwent investigation and trial.

Also not included on the list is Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who had also been set to be part of last year’s executions. The government said Atlaoui has exhausted all of legal options to avoid the firing squad when courts dismissed his bid to challenge the president’s rejection of his plea for clemency in June

Chief Public Prosecutor Sudung Situmorang said the next step in the process was to get the greenlight from the Attorney General to move forward.

"It is being coordinated with the attorney general, we are awaiting a reply to the letter we sent him," Sudung told Harian Terbit yesterday.

No date or timeline has been set for this next round of executions. Sudung said the timing was at the discretion of the attorney general HM Prasetyo.

“We will see later, as I said it is still rainy season. We are waiting for the weather to be good,” Prasetyo told Media Indonesia yesterday. However, a spokesman for the AGO apparently told ABC correspondent Adam Harvey that the attorney general was just "joking" when he made that statement.

Source: Coconuts Jakarta, April 7, 2016

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