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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…

The Psychological Impact of Widespread Executions on Iranian Society

Children watching a public hanging in Iran
Children watching a public hanging in Iran
NCRI - One of the members of the parliament in Iran admitted that the widespread mass executions under the sovereignty of the Mullahs' regime bring wrath and fright to people. He called for reconsideration to these executions.

On 23rd November 2016, MP Ezzatollah Yousefian who is the representative of Amol City in the parliament had a speech in the parliament and said: "We have carried out many executions, every day. The number of executions in drug sector is very high. Do we have to carry out execution every day? We need to reconsider it eventually, don’t we?"

Ezzatollah Yousefian referred to the psychological impacts of the executions in the society and said: "When I was the attorney general of Mazandaran Province, a report came from the Ministry of education in 1990. It was stated that as one person is executed in a day, nearly 20 to 30 students do not attend school anymore. I asked them about the reason and they told me that those who are being executed have a kind of family relationship with the students.

A woman in the court said to the Judge: "Your honor, I said to my son not to marry this girl because his father is sentenced to death penalty."

At the end, the Iranian MP stressed the significance of the fact that it is not only the matter of death penalty when one person is executed. The psychological impacts will remain in his family for years.

In other words, this condemnation is not only for the victim but also for his family. The families, relatives and generation also suffer about the execution in Iran."

Ezzatollah Yousefian also discussed the increasing number of executions in Iran. He addressed all members of the parliament and said: "Are we going to continue this way in 20 years? What are the consequences? Take a look at the age of addiction among the students. Look closely at the age of addiction in our society. In our country, there are people who are waiting to sell their kidney due to poverty whereas on the other part of the world the kidney receivers are naturally waiting for a kidney transplant. Nevertheless, the kidney seller has to wait for his turn since there are many people out there who actually want to sell their kidney. Note that I have not yet mentioned about selling other body parts. The issues are not trivial, however. The words are only spoken but there is no action towards them."

Source: NCRI, November 27, 2016

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