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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…

Veloso to testify vs. recruiters very soon: lawyer

Rodrigo Duterte, left, and Joko Widodo, right
President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and President Joko Widodo, right.
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The case of imprisoned overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Mary Jane Veloso gains ground as she is set to testify against her illegal recruiters "very soon," according to her lawyer Atty, Edre Olalia.

In an interview with CNN Philippines on Sunday, Olalia said the testimony will be recorded in the Philippine Consular Office in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He added that it was the Regional Trial Court of Baloc, Nueva Ecija that granted the prosecution's motion to take Veloso's testimony.

Olalia claimed this is a "significant move", saying that the pace of the proceedings of Veloso's case against her illegal recruiters is "faster than before."

For Olalia, Veloso's testimony will aid not only her case but also other possible victims of illegal recruitment and drug traffiicking.

"The full testimony of Mary Jane is about to be scheduled any time so that she can tell her whole story and, more importantly, so that she can help in the identification of the real culprits and the perpetrators of this very heinous crime of drug trafficking, which she herself is a victim," Olalia said.

"We are still at a stage of presenting prosecution evidence and of which the position of Mary Jane is important - if not a decisive element."

Foreign Affairs Sec. Perfecto Yasay on Saturday confirmed to CNN Philippines that Indonesia has taken off Mary Jane Veloso out of its execution list "indefinitely."

"That's very significant. She has been allowed also to testify in the case here, with respect to the prosecution of the illegal recruiters and, when that is completed, then she's stabilized that she was in fact a victim. Then we will see what the Indonesian government will do as far their own justice system is concerned," Yasay said.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, Yasay said they are also looking at applying for Veloso's clemency. However, Yasay said President Rodrigo Duterte will respect whatever Indonesia will decide on the case.

The 30-year-old Veloso, a mother of two, was arrested in 2010 after she arrived in Indonesia with 2.6 kg of heroin hidden in her suitcase. The OFW said she was tricked into bringing the prohibited substance to Indonesia. In October of the same year, she was given the death sentence.

Veloso's execution by an Indonesian firing squad was delayed at the last minute in April following the surrender of her alleged illegal recruiters, live-in partners Maria Kristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao.

Sergio and Lacanilao are facing charges of illegal recruitment, human trafficking, and estafa before the Baloc RTC Branch 37.

In September 2015, Sergio and Lacanilao pleaded not guilty to the illegal recruitment and estafa charges filed against them.

Meanwhile, in February this year, Sergio and Lacanilao refused to enter a plea in court for human trafficking and large-scale illegal recruitment. As required by the rules, the court entered a "not guilty" plea on their behalf.

Source: CNN Philippines, September 12, 2016

Duterte okayed Mary Jane’s execution, says Indonesian president


Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said on Monday that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had given the green light for the execution of Filipina death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso.

“President Duterte has given the go-ahead to proceed with the execution,” Jokowi was quoted as saying by Antara news agency in Serang, Banten.

According to Jokowi, the legal process will be followed up by Attorney General M. Prasetyo.

“I have explained to [Duterte] about Mary Jane’s situation and I told him that Mary Jane [has been found guilty] for carrying 2.6 kilograms of heroin. I also told him about the delay in the execution during the meeting,” Jokowi said.

Veloso was arrested at Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta in April 2010.

Veloso was excluded from the list of the third round of executions prepared by the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in April, as legal procedures continue in a separate but related case in her country.

Veloso was on the execution list last year but was granted a stay of execution because her alleged boss had been arrested in the Philippines, and the authorities there requested Indonesian assistance in pursuing the case.

Source: inquirer.net, September 12, 2016

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