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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: 12 executions in Karaj, Shiraz, Ahvaz and Salmas prisons

Darkness at Noon: Collective hanging in Iran (file photo)
Darkness at Noon: Collective hanging in present-day Iran (file photo)
Anti-human regime of mullahs hanged 12 prisoners in the central prisons of Karaj, Shiraz, Sepidar of Ahvaz and Salmas during days 23 to 25 October. 

One of the five prisoners that were hanged collectively on Tuesday morning, October 25 was a 25-year- old youth by the name of Saeed Pour-Hassan. 

On the day before, three prisoners in Shiraz and two young brothers in Abadan from Arab minority were hanged in the Sepidar prison of Ahvaz. 

In fear of the people’s wrath, repressive SSF (State Security Force) were stationed in various locations in the Salich district of Abadan strictly controlling the people.

Also on October 23, two Kurd prisoners were hanged in in the prison of Salmas.

Meanwhile, Bahram Ghasemi, the regime’s foreign ministry spokesman, described the recent European Parliament resolution about Iran as being “inaccurate” and based on “false information and reports”. He called repression and killing of the Iranian people as an internal issue and said, “We have not and will not allow any individual or country to speak or judge about our internal issues.” (state-run News Network, October 24)

The Iranian Resistance calls all the Iranian people and particularly the brave youths to protest against the brutal death penalty. It reiterates any dealing with the mullahs’ regime should be contingent upon improvement of human rights situation, especially halt of executions.

Source: Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, 26 October 2016

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