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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…

Islamist arrested for violent murder of Bangladeshi LGBT editor Xulhaz Mannad

Xulhaz Mannad
Xulhaz Mannad
The murder of magazine editor Xulhaz Mannad shocked Bangladesh late April: Police have announced they may have found one of his killers.

Mannad, 35, was found hacked to death and shot in Dhaka, Bangladesh in a series of attacks on Bangladesh’s intellectual and atheist community.

He was the editor of Bangladesh’s first gay and lesbian magazine, Roopbaan. With Mahbub Tonoy, 25, who was also murdered, he organized the Rainbow Rally on Bengali New Year, 14 April.

They both also worked for the government aid organization, USAID.

The two were killed in brutal fashion by six men armed with machetes and guns. Police have now arrested suspected Islamic militant Shariful Islam Shihab, 37, believing him to be one of the assailants.

‘We’ve arrested one man in connection with the murder of Xulhaz Mannan,’ Dhaka police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sorder said in a press conference.

Shibab is thought to be a member of Harkatul Jihad: a radical Islamist group banned in Bangladesh.

An elderly Buddhist monk was found hacked to death on Saturday in a temple in Bandarban. Three men are currently being held in connection with the killing.

Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh and is rarely acknowledged.

Source: Gay Star News, May 15, 2016

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