FEATURED POST

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Image
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 Prince to meet Ban Ki Moon, as juveniles await beheading

UN building in NYC
The UN Secretary-General must use a meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia tomorrow to call for the release of three Saudi juveniles who face beheading after allegedly attending protests, human rights organization Reprieve has said.

Emergency Action: UN Secretary General must ask Saudi Arabia to stop juvenile executions. Email the UN Secretary General now.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman will tomorrow (22nd) meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in New York, in the latest of a series of diplomatic meetings that included a trip to the White House last Friday. The meeting takes place amid fears for the fate of three juveniles who have been sentenced to death after they allegedly attended protests in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province in 2012.

Ali al-Nimr, Abdullah al Zaher and Dawood al-Marhoon – who are assisted by Reprieve – were all under 18 when they were arrested and tortured into ‘confessions’, which were later used to convict them in secretive trials. Last autumn, they were informed that their final appeals had been rejected. They could now be executed at any time.

Saudi Arabia has executed a record number of prisoners this year; a mass execution carried out on January 2nd saw at least two juveniles killed. One of them, Ali al-Ribh, had been arrested in school in the wake of the Eastern Province protests.

The execution of juveniles and prisoners arrested for non-violent alleged crimes is prohibited under international law. Research carried out by Reprieve last year found that, of those prisoners identified as facing execution in Saudi Arabia, some 72 per cent had been arrested for non-violent crimes, including political protest.

Commenting, Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said: “The Saudi authorities are engaged in unprecedented levels of repression – Prince Mohammed’s trip cannot mask his government’s skyrocketing use of torture, secret trials and beheadings. Among those who face execution for allegedly attending protests are juveniles Ali, Dawood and Abdullah, and it is crucial that Ban Ki Moon and other heads of state do not miss a crucial opportunity to raise their cases. The Secretary General must make clear to the Prince tomorrow that these terrible abuses in Saudi Arabia must stop – and that Ali, Dawood and Abdullah must be released.”


Source: Reprieve, June 21, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Texas executes Juan Castillo

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Five executed in Iran, two hanged in public

What Indiana officials want to keep secret about executions

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Texas prisons taking heat over aging execution drugs experts say could cause 'torturous' deaths

Bangladesh to oppose gay rights and abolishment of death penalty at UN