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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…

Singapore: Young Malaysian rider arrested with a kilo of drugs faces death penalty

Singaporean authorities arrested a young Malaysian rider who was carrying heroin and meth worth $86,000 at the Woodlands checkpoint.

The 20-year-old motorcyclist had in his possession almost one kilogram of drugs, which far exceeds the minimum amount of contraband that attracts death penalty in Singapore.

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said in a joint statement that apart from the heroin, about 120 gram of meth also was recovered from the rider.

The rider arrived at the checkpoint at 5.20 in the morning on Monday. The checkpoint authorities discovered a packet of heroin weighing 460 grams on him and arrested him.

They then handed him to the central narcotics bureau officials, who recovered another packet of heroin from him which contained the same quantity of the contraband.

Drug related offences get harsh punishment in Singapore, including death. The island republic has been in the forefront of nations that vouch for strict punishment for drug crimes.

Under Singapore's Misuse of Drugs Act provides anyone trafficking heroin above 15 grams can be punished with death.

In a speech at a UN conference last week, Singapore's Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said the country will never go soft in its fight against drugs.

"We believe that drugs will destroy our society. With 200 million people traveling through our borders every year, and given Singaporeans' purchasing power, a soft approach will mean our country will be washed over with drugs," Shanmugam said.

Source: ibtimes.com, April 26, 2016

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