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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…

Pakistan SC acquits death row inmate after 24 years

Peshawar Central Prison
Peshawar Central Prison
The top court annulled orders of subordinate courts

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Supreme Court (SC) has acquitted a death row inmate in a murder case after at least 24 years over inconclusive evidence.

The top court annulled orders of subordinate courts and ordered immediate release of the inmate named Mazhar Farooq.

The verdict was given by three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa. 

The bench stated in its report that there was contradiction in medical reports and statements of the witnesses.

The prosecution failed to prove the crime, the bench added while saying that even the pistol recovered from the accused did not belong to him.

However, the court cleared that the release was ordered over suspicions regarding evidence presented before the court. 

Farooq was alleged of a murder in Kasur area in 1992 and trial court had sentenced him to death which was upheld by a high court.

Source: Dunya News, November 25, 2016

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