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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…

Tanzania Told to Halt Executions

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Tanzania government has once again been ordered by the African Court of Human and People's Rights (AfCHPR) to halt the execution of 2 murder convicts facing death the penalty.

In its ruling after 2 applications by the convicts, 11 judges of the judicial organ based in Arusha unanimously orders the government to refrain from executing the death penalty against Amini Juma and Deogratius Nicholas Jeshi.

The 2 were convicted of murder charges at different dates and different locations by the High Court of Tanzania and had their convictions upheld by the Court of Appeal of Tanzania, which is the highest Court in the country.

"The Court unanimously orders the Respondent (Tanzania) to refrain from executing the death penalty against the Applicants (Mr Juma and Jeshi) pending the determination of the Application," they ruled last week during the Court session.

The Respondent was also ordered to report to the Court (AfCHPR) within 60 days from the date of receipt of the Order (June 3rd) on measures taken to implement the Order. Both applicants are currently detained in prisons awaiting execution of the death penalty.

Juma, currently detained at Maweni prison in Tanga, was convicted for murder by the High Court of Tanzania at Arusha on September 18, 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment. His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed on October 17, 2011.

Source: The Citizen, July 8, 2016

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