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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…

Saudi executes Jordanian drug smuggler

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia on Thursday put to death a Jordanian convicted of drug trafficking, in the kingdom's 91st execution this year.

Maher al-Ghurabli had been found guilty of smuggling amphetamine pills into the kingdom, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Authorities carried out the sentence against him in the northwestern region of Tabuk, which borders his Jordanian homeland.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

Ghurabli's is the 91st execution of a local or foreigner this year, according to an AFP tally.

The executions include 47 for "terrorism" on a single day, January 2.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions.

Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia had the 3rd highest number of people put to death last year -- at least 158.

That was far behind Pakistan, which executed 326, and Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran, which executed at least 977, said Amnesty, whose figures exclude secretive China.

Source: ahram.org, May 7, 2016

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