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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…

Iran: 10 Prisoners Executed at Rajai Shahr Prison in One Day

Execution in Iran
The execution spree of the Iranian authorities continues with ten executions carried out on Wednesday July 20 at Rajai Shahr Prison. 

About 38 executions have been reported in Iran in the past week.

Iran Human Rights (July 21 2016): A group of ten prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison (Alborz province, northern Iran) on Wednesday July 20, according to sources close to Iran Human Rights (IHR). 

The prisoners were reportedly on death row on unrelated murder charges.

IHR calls on the international community to draw attention to the rising number of executions in Iran. "Although these prisoners were executed for criminal charges, the main goal of the executions is to spread fear in the society. The International community should not close its eyes to the arbitrary executions in Iran," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

The prisoners had been transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday July 17 in preparation for their executions scheduled for Wednesday. 

Iran Human Rights has identified four of the prisoners as Mohsen Babaie, Mehdi Keshavarz, Reza Teymouri and Mohsen Khanmohammadi.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and state media, have been silent about these ten executions. About 38 executions have been reported in Iran in the past week.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 21, 2016


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