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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…

South Sudan: 2 soldiers executed in Wau

South Sudan army's (SPLA) 5th division in Western Bahr el Ghazal state on Friday executed 2 soldiers charged with murder and various crimes.

The duo were arrested on 17 July and kept at Wau central prison after for allegedly murdering a couple at a residential area situated within Wau town.

They faced firing squad in front of a military parade at the army division headquarters. Hundreds of Wau residents also witnessed it.

Wau town mayor, Akol Akol Ajith, said the 2 soldiers were sentenced to death after the military high court found them guilty.

"The order to execute these soldiers comes from above and this is what will warn the soldiers from involving in such crimes," said Akol.

No one, according to the town mayor, is above the stipulated laws.

A military judge cautioned soldiers against violating army regulations.

"This is a warning to those soldiers who used to violate the military regulation, it is also what tell the people of South Sudan that any soldier found committing crime against civilian should be deal with," a judge, who preferred anonymity said on Friday.

This is the 1st time such an execution has taken place at the army's 5th division headquarters in Western Bahr el Ghazal state over the years.

Source: Sudan Tribune, July 30, 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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