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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…

Turkey: AKP Deputy Chair Says He is Against Reintroduction of Death Penalty

"The reintroduction of the death penalty, a hotly-debated issue since Turkey's failed July 15 military coup attempt."
"The reintroduction of the death penalty, a hotly-debated issue since
Turkey's failed July 15 military coup attempt."
AKP deputy head Turkes says he is against reintroduction of death penalty

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Chair Tugrul Turkes has said he is against the reintroduction of the death penalty, a hotly-debated issue since Turkey's failed July 15 military coup attempt.

"I think the reintroduction will bring more harm than benefits. It's also difficult to bring it back," Turkes told daily Hurryet, adding that he had voiced his opinion on many platforms.

"We've been talking about this with our lawmaker friends and they all know that I'm against it," he said.

Turkes also stated that constitutional changes were not possible under the state of emergency in Turkey, commenting on recent debates on a charter change.

"The charter cannot be changed under the state of emergency," Tugrul Turkes told daily Hurriyet, adding that charter changes were absolute agreement texts.

"Charter changes are absolute agreement texts. The Republican People's Party is the main opposition and carries responsibilities," he also said.

Saying the "CHP cannot solve the constitutional change issue on the street," Turkes said the decision to lengthen the state of emergency had not yet been given.

"We'll see if the state of emergency will be extended, but a country in a state of emergency cannot change its constitution," he added.

Turkey declared a 3-month long state of emergency after the July 15 failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. It was later extended for another 3 months.

During his interview, Turkes also said his ideas on the timing of the constitutional change may cause debates inside the party.

"If it creates a debate it's fine because this needs to be discussed inside the party," he also said.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, November 28, 2016

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