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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…

Philippines' Mary Jane Veloso Will Not Be in the Next Round of Executions

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
Jakarta. A woman from the Philippines convicted in Indonesia for drug smuggling and sentenced to death will not be among the first round of executions carried out when capital punishment is resumed after a lull, the attorney general said on Friday (22/7).

Indonesia imposed a moratorium on executions for five years before resuming them in 2013. It provoked international outrage in April last year with the execution of eight drug traffickers, seven of them foreigners.

After the outcry, authorities said they were postponing executions while the government focussed on reviving he economy. But President Joko Widodo’s administration has this year pledged to resume executions by firing squad.

A Philippine maid, Mary Jane Veloso, got a last-minute reprieve last year, following a request from Manila after an employment recruiter, whom Veloso had accused of planting drugs in her luggage, gave herself up to police in the Philippines.

“Not yet,” Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo told reporters when asked about Veloso.

“We are still waiting on the legal process in the Philippines, which we have to respect.”

Prasetyo has said 16 prisoners will be executed this year, including nationals from Nigeria and Zimbabwe, but has declined to give a specific time frame. That number will be more than doubled next year, he said.

Indonesia has declared a “drug emergency” and vowed no mercy for drug traffickers.

Authorities have not given a breakdown of the numbers of foreigners on death row but citizens of France, Britain and the Philippines are known to be among them.

Source: Reuters, July 22, 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