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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…

Morocco: Two sentenced to death for raping, killing 7-year-old girl

Morocco
May 4, 2016: Two Moroccans have been sentenced to death by a court in El Jadida (200km south of Rabat) for having kidnapped, raped and killed a 7-year-old girl, reported today the local web eljadidanews.com.

The incident took place late last year, when the girl, who went by the name Zineb, disappeared from his grandfather’s house in the village of Douar Lachab, where he lived with his mother, separated from her husband. 

Her body was found days later in a well, with signs of having been raped before her death.

The daily Al Massae says meanwhile that one of those sentenced to death is half brother of the dead girl.

While no prisoner was executed since 1993, the death penalty remains in force in Moroccan law, and in recent years was reserved for cases of terrorism or crimes against children.

There are currently around 120 sentenced to death in the so-called “death row” awaiting execution. 

source: EFE, May 4, 2016

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