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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…

Manny Pacquiao on death penalty: It's in the Bible

Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao
Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao
Newly-proclaimed Senator-elect Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao made it to his first press conference as Upper House legislator and said he is in favor of death penalty.

Speaking to the media shortly after his proclamation Thursday at the PICC, Pacquiao said that the capital punishment is actually based on the Bible.

Pacquiao also wanted to push for better education for Filipinos.

The world-renowned boxer first forayed into politics as a representative for Sarangani. His stint as a legislator was hounded by his absences. In 2014, his absences hit notorious levels after being only able to show up for work 4 times.

In his 1st term that spanned from 2010 to 2013, he only appeared in 98 times in the Congress's 168 working days.

Pacquiao's best moment as a legislator came in a speech against human trafficking. But that was swiftly negated when he was put under the spotlight during a lengthy discussion of the Reproductive Health Bill.

Earlier this year, Pacquiao's chances in the senatorial race were believed to dim after his scathing remarks that targeted the members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) community - which also drew flak on social media.

But even after the comments, Pacquiao still managed to secure 16,050,546 votes, propelling him to 7th place in the "Magic 12" candidates who made the cut.

Pacquiao ranked ahead of tested politicians former Sen. Francis Pangilinan, former Rep. Risa Hontiveros and former Sen. Ralph Recto.

Asked if his absences will continue to plague his career as a politician, Pacquiao noted that he won't make any promises.

Source: Philippine Star, May 19, 2016

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