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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…

Syria: ISIS militants throw gay man from building top

ISIS militants throw gay man off  7-story building in Syria (file photo).
ISIS militants throw gay man off  7-story building in Syria (file photo).
ERBIL ــ The extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) threw a young man off the top of a building in Manbij city in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo for being gay, accusing him of “sodomy”, local sources reported on Saturday.

Local activists confirmed that the man was arrested by the group’s Hisba police on charges of homosexuality and was barbarically thrown from the top of a building in central Manbij.

Speaking to ARA News in Manbij, media activist Nasser Taljbini said that ISIS extremists have sentenced the man to death by throwing him from the top of a building in the city [Manbij], after accusing him of sodomy.

“The man was thrown brutally by ISIS masked members from the top of the building in the city,” Taljbini reported, pointing out “the corpse of the victim was transferred to an unknown destination.”

“The barbaric execution took place in front of hundreds of people,” Taljbini told ARA News.

Before the execution, ISIS called on the residents in Manbij to gather near a building under construction on the road to Aleppo west of the city. An ISIS Sharia member read the verdict against the “unidentified” victim, according to eyewitnesses, who spoke to ARA News on condition of anonymity.

“Throwing gays this way will cleanse their sins” according to ISIS Sharia Court.

“The young man was taken by the masked militants to the top of the building and they threw him blindfolded,” an eyewitness said.

Under the banner “Do not reach Allah’s boundaries”, the ISIS-linked Media Center in Aleppo released a new propaganda footage for the execution of the Syrian man, showing pictures of the execution’s stages.

Last October, the terror group had executed two Iraqi civilians in the northwestern Iraqi city of Mosul for being gay. The ISIS militants brutally threw the two young men off a building’s roof under the pretext they were a “gay couple”.

The ISIS-linked Sharia Court had issued a decision to execute every gay man by throwing him from the top of a building, according to eyewitnesses.

The extremist group has executed dozens of allegedly gay men in its areas of control in Syria and Iraq.

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Source: ARA News, May 8, 2016


ISIS executes five civilians in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor on charges of apostasy

Militants of ISIS execute two Syrian men on charges of leaking information to Syrian rebels in Hasakah
Militants of ISIS execute two Syrian men on charges
of leaking information to Syrian rebels (file photo).
QAMISHLI – Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Friday executed a number of Iraqi civilians in the city of Abu Kamal in Syria’s eastern province of Deir ez-Zor on charges of apostasy, local sources reported.

Local activists confirmed that ISIS executed five men in Abu Kamal city on charges of apostasy and violation of ISIS regulations.

Speaking to ARA News in Deir ez-Zor, media activist Khidir al-Faris said that ISIS militants have brought five people from the Iraqi city of al-Qaim, and executed them publically in the city of Abu Kamal in the eastern suburbs of Deri ez-Zor province on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

“They were executed on charges of apostasy and disobeying the group’s rules in the region,” the source reported.

The victims were arrested by ISIS-led Hisba police earlier this week. They were then referred to the Sharia Court which convicted them of apostasy and ordered their execution, according to local activists.

According to activists, the victims were not identified; they were only known as Iraqi nationals.

Al-Faris pointed out that ISIS has taken the city of Abu Kamal as a center for the field executions carried out against opponents from the people of Deir ez-Zor province and the ISIS-controlled areas inside Iraqi territory.

Source: ARA News, Ahmad Shiwesh, May 7, 2016

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