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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…

Call to halt execution of 2 prisoners in western Iran

Watching a public execution in Iran (file photo)
Watching a public execution in Iran (file photo)
On Wednesday, June 22, coinciding with a visit by the Iranian regime's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to France and the Netherlands, and simultaneous with the global conference against the death penalty with the participation of more than 90 countries in Oslo, officials of the mullahs' regime in Iran have sent 2 prisoners by the names of Farzad Bizhani and Farhad Souri in Sanandaj Prison (western Iran) to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions.

On this very day the criminal public prosecutor in the city of Mashhad (northeastern Iran) requested hand amputation verdicts for 3 prisoners accused of robbery (state Tabnak website - June 22).

Continuous executions, torture and floggings even during the holy month of Ramadan, considered amongst Muslims in Iran and all Islamic countries as a month of tolerance, kindness and benevolence, brings an end to the myth of moderation within the religious, fascist regime ruling Iran that cannot even temporary halt these crimes for a few days to merely save face.

The Iranian Resistance calls for measures to save the lives of the 2 prisoners on the brink of execution and to prevent a verdict and implementation of hand amputation for the three inmates in Mashhad Prison. 

The Iranian Resistance also calls on all international humanitarian organizations to condemn these inhumane crimes. 

Furthermore, the international community is urged to condition its economic and political relations with this inhumane regime, being the source of all the devastations, pains and sufferings of the people of Iran and the entire region, on an improvement of human rights in Iran.

Source: NCRI, June 22, 2016

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