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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…

State question that protects the death penalty in Oklahoma passes overwhelmingly

Oklahoma's death chamber
OKLAHOMA CITY – While many voters were focused on the presidential race, Oklahomans were asked to vote on seven state questions ranging from a tax increase to a change in liquor laws.

On Tuesday evening, we began learning exactly how Oklahomans felt on all of the issues.

State Question 776 would declare that the death penalty is not cruel or unusual punishment. It would also allow the Legislature to designate any method of execution if the current method is deemed unconstitutional.

In 2015, Gov. Mary Fallin halted the execution of Richard Glossip after learning that there was a mix up with the lethal injection drugs.

Since then, all state executions have been put on hold.

An autopsy revealed that Charles Warner was put to death with a drug that is not in our state protocol.

On Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly supported the measure.

With 1,345 of 1,956 precincts reporting, the measure passed 67% to 32%.

Source: KFOR-TV, November 8, 2016

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