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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…

Philippines’ Duterte Threatens to Follow Russia in Quitting International Criminal Court

Duterte: "If Russia, China create ‘new order’ he would be first to join."
Duterte: "If Russia, China create ‘new order’ he would be first to join."
President Rodrigo Duterte says if Russia, China create ‘new order’ he would be first to join

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he might follow Russia’s example and withdraw from the International Criminal Court, where his critics say he could be charged over the thousands killed in his war on drugs.

In a statement before flying to Peru to attend the annual summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, Mr. Duterte also said the United Nations has been useless in stopping wars. He said if China and Russia decide to create a new world order, he would be the first to join them and leave the U.N., which he said was dominated by the U.S.

“You know, if China and Russia would decide to create a new order, I would be the first to join,” he said, adding that he would quit the U.N.

Mr. Duterte also criticized the global agreement to fight climate change, saying there are no penalties for violators and it isn’t clear which industrialized countries will contribute money to support developing countries’ efforts against global warming. He said that was the reason why President-elect Donald Trump doesn't want the U.S. to spend on fighting climate change.

During his campaign, Mr. Trump said he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris pact on climate change.

The foul-mouthed Mr. Duterte said that like Russia, he might withdraw from the ICC “because we the small ones are the only ones being beaten up,” but nothing has been done for the thousands of children and women dying in bombings in Syria and Iraq.

Mr. Duterte is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sidelines of the summit in Lima. He requested for the bilateral meeting because he wants to meet and be friends with Mr. Putin, whom he said was his idol.

Human-rights advocates have criticized Mr. Duterte’s antidrug campaign that has left more than 4,000 suspected addicts and pushers dead since July. They said the killings can be a basis to charge him for crimes against humanity before the Netherlands-based court.

Mr. Duterte said he has intentionally used foul language—including calling PresidentBarack Obama a “son of a bitch”—because Mr. Obama has trivialized the Philippines’ drug problem when there are already around 4 million Filipinos addicted to drugs. The country has a population of more than 103 million.

Source: The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, November 17, 2016

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