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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…

Iraq: Man brutally executed by ISIS for "being gay"

Man accused of being gay executed by ISIS in Iraq, July 2016
Man accused of being gay executed by ISIS in Iraq, July 2016
ISIS has publicly executed yet another man accused of being gay by throwing him from a rooftop.

The Iraqi man was executed by ISIS militants in the Kirkuk stronghold, after being accused of homosexuality, reports local media.

The victim is the latest of dozens of men perceived to be gay to have been executed by the militant group.

ARA News Network published the story which has not been independently verified, showing footage of the man being thrown to his death.

According to the report, a crowd had gathered, who threw stones at the man’s body after he hit the ground.

“He was thrown off a roof in front of dozens of people,” the reads the report.

“Then ISIS militants called on the people to stone the victim, although he was already dead. They started to barbarically stone his corpse.”

Such punishment is often the result of Shariah law being carried out by “judges” or “courts” who decide whether the accused is guilty.

“Civilians who live under Isis suppression are forced to follow any order by the group, otherwise they could get killed,” the head of Nineveh media centre Raafat al-Zarari said in the report by ARA News.

“People sometimes have no choice but showing loyalty to IS.”

Just over a month ago, Omar Mateen took to the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killing 49.

Mateen called authorities and declared his loyalty to ISIS before he was killed at the scene.

Hillary Clinton visited the nightclub on Friday, and spoke at a roundtable event to say she would make changes to protect LGBT+ people from being targeted.

Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump also said he would do “everything in his power” to protect LGBT people, despite having held anti-LGBT stances for some time.

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Source: Pink News, July 23, 2016


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