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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…

Somalia executes 2 Al-Shabaab militants

Firing squad execution in Mogadishu, Somalia, in January 2014.
Firing squad execution in Mogadishu, Somalia, on January 4, 2014.
The Somali military court on Saturday executed 2 Al-Shabaab militants behind last year's murder of a female journalist who worked for state media.

The court found that Abdirisak Mohamed Barow, 28, and Hassan-Nur Ali Farah, 37, killed Hindiya Haji Mohamed, the journalist working for Radio Mogadishu and National Television on December 3 last year, Xinhua reported.

The execution by firing squad occurred at a field in General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu.

"Barow and Farah, were sentenced to a death penalty on March 20 and they are executed for their involvement and killing of the journalist, Hindiya Haji Mohamed," said 1 of the prosecutors.

The prosecutor added that the executed men were members of the AlAl-Shabaab militant group.

Hindiya was killed early December in 2015 while her husband, who was also a journalist for the same station, was killed on September 20 in 2012.

Somalia is considered to be one of the worst places where journalists operate. 

More than 25 journalists have been murdered in Somalia since 2007, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Source: Business-Standard, April 10, 2016

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