In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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…

Indonesia: Drug Lord — Not Freddy Budiman — Gave Rp 2b to Police Officers

Drug kingpin Freddy Budiman (center)  was executed on July 29, 2016
Drug kingpin Freddy Budiman (center, white hat) was executed on July 29, 2016
Jakarta. An investigation by an independent police-initiated team has revealed that a drug lord distributed around Rp 2 billion (1 million Indonesian Rupiahs = USD75) in cash to a number of police officers, proving another drug lord Freddy Budiman's claim that the country's law enforcers have long been involved in drug trafficking ring.

The independent team, dubbed "the fact finding team" and set up to investigate the officers' involvement in drug crimes, has been investigating allegations that members of the National Police, National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and Indonesian Military (TNI) had helped slain drug convict Freddy Budiman run his drug trafficking ring.

Freddy mentioned the names of at least three officers who had helped him run his drug business from inside the prison.

Fact finding team member Effendy Ghazali told reporters the probe into Freddy Budiman's case had led to another drug lord Chandra Halim, better known as Akiong.

"The team did find a suspicious flow of cash, but it wasn't from Freddy Budiman," Effendy said in Jakarta on Thursday (15/09).

The investigation found that a middle rank police officer, identified as KPS, received Rp 668 million ($51,000) from Akiong. The officer had admitted taking the bribes and his case is currently being handled by the police's internal affairs division Propam.

The team also identified five suspicious money transfers to police officers amounting to Rp 25 million, Rp 50 million, Rp 77 million, Rp 700 million and more than Rp 1 billion — a total of more than Rp 2 billion. It did not mention the names of the officers.

"The officers claimed they did not receive the money from Freddy Budiman," Effendy said.

He said the team found it difficult to prove Freddy's claim that he had given around Rp 450 billion to BNN officers and Rp 90 billion to National Police officers as kickback, since he was no longer available to give further information.

Freddy had confessed about the officers' involvement in his drug business to human rights activist Haris Azhar when they met on the Nusakambangan prison island two years ago. Haris eventually revealed Freddy's testimony shortly before the convict faced the firing squad.

Effendy said it is not possible to disclose the video of Freddy's testimony to the public as that will violate the Electronic Information and Transactions Law. According to the law, anyone who distributes false information or defamation can be charged at a court of law.

Source: The Jakarta Globe, September 15, 2016

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