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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…

Hamas sentences 3 'spies for Israel' to death

Executing alleged collaborators with Israel in Gaza city in August 2014
Executing alleged collaborators with Israel in Gaza city in August 2014
Military court in Gaza sentences 3 local residents to death after they were convicted of spying for Israel.

A military court in Gaza on Tuesday sentenced 3 local residents to death after they were convicted of providing information to Israel's security services.

The Palestinian Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the security forces and which is controlled by Hamas in Gaza, said that the Supreme Military Court sentenced to death by strangling and shooting the 3 men, who according to the statement handed over information that harmed the public interest and the Palestinian national security.

The trial of the "spies" was held behind closed doors and without the presence of the media.

Hamas regularly claims to have captured "Israeli spies", and many times it tries them and sentences them to death.

In 1 such example, the group claimed to have exposed "the most dangerous intelligence agent" who allegedly worked for the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet).

More recently, Hamas claimed it arrested an intelligence agent who had provided information to Israel for 14 years and who allegedly assisted in providing information which led to the elimination of terrorists and in the bombings of houses in Gaza.

Under Palestinian law, collaboration with Israel is punishable by death. All death sentences, however, require the approval of Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who issued a moratorium on death sentences in 2005.

Hamas ignores the moratorium and carries out the executions anyway, as it no longer recognizes the legitimacy of Abbas, whose four-year term expired in 2009.

Amnesty International has previously called on Hamas to stop the executions of suspected collaborators, saying that the group "must immediately and totally cease its use of the death penalty."

Source: Israel National News, July 20, 2016


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