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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: 29 Executions Carried Out in the Past Week

Medieval, barbaric punishments... Public hanging in Iran.
Medieval, barbaric punishments... Public hanging in Iran.
Iran Human Rights (July 18 2016): At least 29 people were hanged in Iran in the past week, according to official and unofficial sources. Most of the executions were reportedly carried out on Sunday July 17. Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and state media, have been silent about most of these executions.

Monday July 11: five prisoners were executed at Arak Central Prison (Markazi province, central Iran) on drug related charges, according to close sources. The prisoners have been identified as: Massoud Taghipour, Hassan Farajpour, Mehdi Bagheri, Bagher Jalili, and Hamid Haghvin.

Saturday July 16: two prisoners with drug related charges were hanged at Lakan, Rasht's central prison (Gilan province, northern Iran), according to a report by the Iranian official news agency, Mizan, quoting the press department of the Judiciary in the province of Gilan. The report identifies the prisoners as "F.D.", charged with purchasing 675 grams of crystal meth, and "M.B.", charged with possession of 675 grams of crystal meth.

Sunday July 17: two unidentified prisoners, who were reportedly on death row on rape charges, were hanged in public in Mehrshahr, a sububrb in Karaj (in the Alborz province, northern Iran). The two individuals were reportedly arrested by Iranian authorities in spring 2011, but no information is available regarding their names or the details of their cases.

Sunday July 17: eleven prisoners were hanged at Karaj's Ghezelhesar Prison (Alborz province, northern Iran), according to the unofficial human rights news agency, HRANA. Sources close to Iran Human Rights have confirmed five of these executions. "Two of the prisoners, Saeed Saberi and Moslem Bahrami, were transferred from Rajai Shahr Prison to GhezelHesar Prison for execution," says a close source.

"Two other prisoners were transferred to Ghezelhesar Prison from Karaj Central Prison for execution, even though they were never given a last visit with their family members. A woman from Shahre Rey Prison (Tehran Province, central Iran) was among those executed at Ghezelhesar Prison on Sunday," says the close source.

All the prisoners who were executed at Ghezelhesar Prison on Sunday were on death row for drug related charges, according to close sources.

Sunday July 17: three prisoners were hanged at Birjand Central Prison (South Khorasan province, central Iran) on drug related charges, according to close sources. The prisoners have been identified as Mansour Zaferani, Yousef Barahuee, and Ghassem Delshad.

Last week, Iran Human Rights reported on the execution of six prisoners at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison on Wednesday July 13.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 18, 2016


16 prisoners including a woman hanged in 1 day, 2 in public

30 prisoners executed in less than a week in cities across the country

In a new wave of executions, the Iranian regime executed 30 prisoners in various cities from July 11 to 17. 16 were executed Sunday, July 17, in Karaj and Birjand.

In Karaj, 11 prisoners including a woman were executed en masse in Ghezel Hessar Prison and another 2 were hanged in public in Mehrshahr district.

2 prisoners were executed in the Central Prison of Lakan, in Rasht (northern Iran) on July 16. 6 prisoners were hanged on July 13, in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj. 5 more prisoners were hanged on July 11, in the Central Prison of Arak (central Iran), and another prisoner was executed also on July 11, in the Prison of Maragheh (East Azerbaijan Province in northwest Iran) after enduring 8 years in prison.

Beset by various crises, the Iranian regime is unable to respond to the most basic needs of the Iranian people, especially the deprived and low income strata. To confront growing public dissent and protests across the country, it has resorted to a new wave of executions. 1 year after the nuclear deal, these crimes reveal the claims of moderation in the clerical regime as hollow and expose the falsehood of promises of improvement under the mullahs' rule. It was thus proved that appeasement of the mullahs' medieval regime will not bring about change.

The Iranian Resistance calls on human rights organizations to condemn the rising number of executions in Iran and to immediately undertake measures to send the dossier of violations of human rights in Iran to the UN Security Council. All relations with the Iranian regime must be made conditional on an end to executions and an improvement of the human rights situation in Iran.

Source: Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, July 18, 2016


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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