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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…

Ohio inmate who survived '09 execution appeals to high court

Romell Broom
Romell Broom
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A condemned Ohio killer who survived a 2009 botched execution is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare that a second attempt to put him to death would be unconstitutional.

Lawyers for death row inmate Romell Broom argue that giving the state prisons agency a second chance would amount to cruel and unusual punishment and double jeopardy.

A divided Ohio Supreme Court rejected Broom's arguments in March. 

Broom's attorneys appealed that ruling earlier this month to the U.S. Supreme Court and filed notice of that appeal on Monday with the state court.

The state stopped Broom's execution after two hours when executioners failed to find a usable vein following 18 attempts to insert needles.

The 60-year-old Broom is only the second inmate in U.S. history to survive an attempted execution.

Source: The Associated Press, August 23, 2016

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