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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: Justifying the execution of juvenile offenders

NCRI - A notorious torture expert and official of the mullahs’ regime has attempted to justify the executions in Iran of young adults, who were under 18 when they were charged.

On August 4, Mohammad-Javad Larijani, who in a bizarre twist is the secretary of the Iranian regime’s so-called Human Rights Council, told the regime-affiliated Tasnim News Agency that minors are not executed until they have reached the age of 18.

Indeed, he blamed Western criticism for bringing this to media attention and suggested that the United Nations take the mullahs’ so-called ‘Islamic laws’ into account when addressing the rights of children in legal cases. He attacked the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran for exposing the regime’s brutal intimidation tactics and bloody history of human rights abuses.

He said: "Ahmed Shaheed was the least successful choice in case of discussing our human rights. We have never authorized his position and we will not also accept the newly elected person for this position."

On March 10, 2016, Shaheed said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council that executions in Iran surged to nearly 1,000 in 2015, the highest level in more than a quarter-century. The number of executions in 2015 was roughly double the number in 2010 and 10 times as many as in 2005.

Amnesty International has corroborated Shaheed's reports, underscoring in its annual report that Iran has the highest number of executions per capita the world over.

Last Tuesday, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, described the mass execution of Sunni prisoners in Gohardasht Prison, carried out on the anniversary of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran, an appalling crime against humanity. The regime is trying in vain to contain the volatile social atmosphere and popular protests by terrorizing the public, she said.

The time has come for the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council to end their silence and bring the record of the Iranian regime's crimes before the International Criminal Court. Ali Khamenei and other leaders of the regime as well as direct perpetrators of these crimes must be brought to justice, Maryam Rajavi reiterated.

Source: NCRI, August 8, 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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