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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…

Justice Dept. will seek death penalty for accused Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof
Federal prosecutors will seek a death sentence for Dylann Roof, the man accused of killing nine parishioners in a Charleston, S.C., church last year.

“Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement Tuesday. “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision.”

State prosecutors had already announced their plans to seek the death penalty for Roof. 

While Roof had also been indicted on federal hate crime charges last summer, the Justice Department had not announced a decision about whether to seek a death sentence, causing the federal trial to be delayed multiple times.

An attorney had said that Roof would plead guilty to the federal hate crime charges, but also said he could not advise him until federal authorities decided on the death penalty.

Source: Washington Post, May 24, 2016


Dylann Roof case: Feds to seek death penalty

Federal prosecutors will seek a death sentence for Dylann Roof, the man accused of killing nine parishioners in a Charleston, S.C., church last year.

“Following the department’s rigorous review process to thoroughly consider all relevant factual and legal issues, I have determined that the Justice Department will seek the death penalty,” Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement Tuesday. “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision.”

State prosecutors had already announced their plans to seek the death penalty for Roof. While Roof had also been indicted on federal hate crime charges last summer, the Justice Department had not announced a decision about whether to seek a death sentence, causing the federal trial to be delayed multiple times.

An attorney had said that Roof would plead guilty to the federal hate crime charges, but also said he could not advise him until federal authorities decided on the death penalty.

Source: CNN, May 24, 2016

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