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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 will not execute a European this year: Attorney General

Serge Atlaoui, his wife Sabine and their son
Serge Atlaoui, his wife Sabine and their son
Indonesia will not execute a European this year, Indonesian Attorney General  H. M. Prasetyo said on Wednesday. 

Prasetyo thus confirmed that the death sentence against French drug convict Serge Atlaoui will not be carried out in the next and forthcoming round of executions.

Two foreign prisoners, one Nigerian and a Zimbabwean, will face the firing squad, Prasetyo said

Relief

Several foreigners sentenced to death for drug trafficking will therefore benefit from a reprieve in 2016. 

Serge Atlaoui was granted an eleventh-hour temporary stay of execution on technical grounds in May 2015.

"It's a relief, it's reassuring, but the fight is not over yet. And I can't possibly celebrate knowing that the relatives of the inmates to be executed will suffer," Serge's wife said Wednesday night.

Sabine Atlaoui travelled to Nusakambangan penal island on Monday, while uncertainty was still hanging over the fate of her husband who did not yet know whether he would be included in the third round of executions.

Eight executed in May 2015

"You can't imagine how happy I am to see you," the Frenchman said to his wife and five-year-old son he hasn't seen for a year.

Serge Atlaoui and Filipina drug mule Mary Jane Veloso were spared at the last moment in late May 2015. Eight were then executed by firing squad, including two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Source: Le Républicain Lorrain, Alain Morvan, translated from the French by DPN, July 13, 2016


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