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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…

Singapore Appoints ‘Apprentice’ for Foreign-Language Oscar Run

Apprentice poster
Boo Junfeng’s “Apprentice” has been selected as Singapore’s contender for the foreign-language Academy Awards competition.

The film, about a young man who is asked to perhaps take over as the country’s state executioner, had its world premiere at the Cannes film festival May this year, appearing in the Un Certain Regard section. 

It had its commercial release in Singapore through Clover Films on June 30.

The selection was made by the Singapore Film Commission (SFC), which is part of the Media Development Authority of Singapore. 

“Apprentice explores complex and sensitive themes while preserving an honest insight to the characters’ internal conflict and emotions. We believe the film will resonate with international audiences following its successful world premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival,” said SFC director Joachim Ng.

The film is set for an extensive festival run with other stops including Toronto, Busan, and London. International sales, handled by France’s Luxbox, have included deals with Film Movement for North America, Arrow for the U.K., and Version Originale Condor for France.

Production was structured as a five way co-production between Singapore, Germany, France, Hong Kong and Qatar. It was produced by Akanga Film Asia, Peanut Pictures and Zhao Wei Films.

Source: Variety, Patrick Frater, September 15, 2016

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