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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…

Jailed Spaniard Pablo Ibar could be transferred from US death row in two weeks

Pablo Ibar in 2009
Pablo Ibar in 2009
Florida Supreme Court dismisses prosecution's appeal against retrial for 1994 triple murder

The Florida Supreme Court has dismissed a prosecution appeal against the decision to order a new trial for a Spaniard who has been on death row for 15 years.

Pablo Ibar, who has been behind bars for nearly 22 years at Rainford penitentiary in Starke, Florida, has always maintained his innocence in connection with a triple murder that took place in 1994.

In February of this year, the high court ordered a retrial on the basis that mistakes were made during the first trial.

With this new decision, 45-year-old Ibar could be transferred from death row “in 15 days at the outside,” according to the Association against the Death Penalty.

Andrés Krakenberger, the association spokesman, expressed satisfaction at the decision on Basque public radio station Radio Euskadi.

News of the court’s dismissal of the appeal was sent to Ibar’s lawyer, Benjamin Waxman. The appeal was filed by Florida prosecutors in late February.

No trial date has been set yet for Ibar, the only Spaniard who was on death row since his conviction in 2000.

The key piece of evidence in the prosecution’s case was a grainy, soundless home security video that showed a group of men attacking nightclub owner Casimir “Butch Casey” Sucharski, and two models, Sharon Anderson and Marie Rogers, whom he had brought to his home in Miramar, Florida. The three were shot and killed during the botched robbery attempt.

One of the suspects in the video appears to be Ibar, but his DNA was not found on a shirt that the killer used to partially cover his face.

Source: El País, May 17, 2016

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Pablo Ibar podría salir del corredor de la muerte en dos semanas

El Tribunal Supremo de Florida desestima recurso a la anulación de pena de muerte para el preso y habrá nuevo juicio

El Tribunal Supremo de Florida (EEUU) ha desestimado el recurso presentado por la fiscalía por la anulación de la condena a muerte del español Pablo Ibar, decidida por esa misma instancia judicial en febrero. Ibar lleva casi 22 años preso, 15 de ellos en el corredor de la muerte, en un penal de Rainford, en Starke (Florida). Según la información recabada por la Asociación contra la Pena de Muerte Pablo Ibar, el traslado de Ibar a un régimen penitenciario normal, tras esta decisión del Supremo, puede producirse "en un plazo máximo de 15 días".

Andrés Krakenberger, portavoz de la Asociación contra la Pena de Muerte Pablo Ibar, se ha mostrado muy satisfecho esta mañana en la emisora pública Radio Euskadi tras conocer la notificación enviada por el Supremo de Florida al abogado del español, Benjamin Waxman, en la que le comunica que la apelación presentado por la fiscalía ha sido desestimada.

El recurso de "reposición" ante el mismo tribunal fue presentado por la fiscalía estatal a finales de febrero, que intentaba así revertir el dictamen emitido unas semanas antes sobre la condena a muerte de Ibar por los asesinatos de tres personas, el dueño de un local nocturno y dos modelos, cometidos en 1994.

El dictamen del Supremo de Florida, que sigue en pie, implica la celebración de un nuevo juicio contra Ibar, de 45 años y único español que estaba condenado a muerte en Estados Unidos. desde que en 2000 fue condenado a la pena capital por el triple asesinato. Uno de los argumentos de peso examinados por el Tribunal Supremo de Florida para la anulación de la condena es que el "ADN de Ibar no fue encontrado en la camiseta recuperada" en el lugar del triple crimen y que el asesino usó para "cubrirse parcialmente el rostro".

La defensa de Ibar, quien siempre ha mantenido su inocencia, resaltó en su apelación ante el Supremo de Florida la poca fiabilidad de la prueba determinante, un vídeo "sin sonido, borroso, granulado", grabado por las cámaras de seguridad de la casa del dueño del club y el testimonio, en ese sentido, de un experto facial que lo tacha de nada fiable.

El vídeo en blanco y negro fue grabado por las cámaras de seguridad de la casa del dueño del club nocturno y en el mismo aparecen dos individuos con el rostro cubierto buscando objetos de valor. Al final de la grabación se observa cómo uno de ellos se descubre la cara y, pese a la mala calidad de la imagen, la fiscalía dijo en el juicio que esa persona era Ibar.

Fuente: El País, 17-05-2016

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