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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…

Indonesia: Isolation cells ready for death row inmates

Nusakambangan prison island
Indonesia: Nusakambangan prison island, where executions are carried out.
The Central Java Law and Human Rights Agency, which holds authority over the prisons on Nusakambangan Island, confirmed that it recently built a number of isolation cells for inmates who are facing the death penalty.

The isolation cells will be used to separate death row inmates and other prisoners ahead of planned executions on the island.

"We have just completed a new 2-story block at the Batu Penitentiary on Nusakambangan with more than 10 cells. Later, the death row inmates will be placed in the isolated cells," the head of the Central Java Law and Human Rights Agency's corrections division, Molyanto, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. 

He said a number of preparations have been made, including a security task force, an execution site and the isolation cells that will be used by the prisoners to meet their families, lawyers and spiritual guides.

"Everything will be ready in the near future. We're just waiting for the order," said Molyanto. 

The official order on when the executions will take place has not yet been made. "Various agencies are still coordinating. It's a matter of time before the Attorney General's Office issues the order," said Molyanto.

Source: Jakarta Post, July 18, 2016


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