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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…

Bangladesh: Human chain demands death penalty for Konika's killer

Human chain in front of Shaheed Satu Hall in Chapainawabganj
Different women's and non-governmental organisations formed a human chain in front of Shaheed Setu Hall in Chapainawabganj town yesterday, demanding capital punishment of the killer of schoolgirl Konika Rani.

Activists of Jago Nari Banhishikha, Bangladesh Mohila Awami League, Jubo Mohila League, Bangladesh Girls Guide and several other non-governmental organisations joined the hour long programme from 10:00am.

Addressing a rally at the venue, the speakers demanded speedy trial and capital punishment of killer Abdul Malek, who murdered Konika Rani and injured her three classmates.

They later submitted a memorandum to the home minister through the deputy commissioner in Chapainawabganj.

Among others, local women leaders Gouri Chand Barman, Nurunnahar, Shahanaz Begum, Halima Khatun and advocate Yesmin Sultana addressed the rally.

On May 27, Konika Rani, 14, a Class X student of Mohipur SM Dwimukhi High School in Sadar upazila, was hacked to death by drug addict Abdul Malek around 9:15am.

Konika's three classmates Tarin Afroz, 15, Tanzima Khatun, 14, and Moriom Akhtar, 14, also sustained serious injuries in the attack. The injured girls are still undergoing treatment at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.

Villagers caught Malek and handed him over to the police, Officer-in-Charge Mazharul Islam of Sadar Model Police Station said.

Konika's mother Anjali Rani filed a murder case against Abdul Malek with the police station the same night, the OC added.

Source: The Daily Star, June 6, 2016

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