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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: Death Sentence Revoked One Day Ahead of Execution

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December 26, 2016: Ghulam Abbas Suhani had to be hanged on December 27 but the execution was stopped today, just one day ahead of the due date, as the elders of the area brought both the parties to the table and helped them settle to a reconciliation, reported Daily Dunya.

According to details, Saleem Suhani had murdered Ghulam Abbas Suhani’s elder brother Mohammad Ramzan. 

Saleem was jailed for this murder but when his brother Fauji Muhammad Esa went to DG Khan, Ramzan’s younger brother Ghulam Abbas murdered him inside the court. He also presented himself for arrest.

The court sentenced him to death. And the sentence was to be carried out on December 27 but the family members and elders of the community helped them reconcile.

Ghulam Abbas’s family paid Saleem’s family with Rs 16.5 million, which is equal to the price of 100 camels, according to Sharia.

Local MPA Javed Akhtar Lund, Chairman Rehan Khan Lund, Maulana Umar Mujahid and Mumtaz Sukhani played a critical role in the reconciliation. 

Sources: Daily Dunya, December 26, 2016


70-year-old death-row convict hanged in Rawalpindi; First execution in 3 months


December 24, 2016: A 70-year-old death-row convict was hanged in Rawalpindi’ Adiala jail after a span of 20 years.

The execution comes after a pause of almost three months and implementation of death penalties have resumed in jails across the country, an Adiala Jail official said.

According to jail administration, the convict Khan Iqbal had fled from the jail during Taliban’s attack on Bannu jail. He later returned to Gojar Khan and started working as a cobbler.

However; he was identified by slain Shakeel’s relatives after which he was arrested again on October 21, 2015.

A case was registered against Khan Iqbal on August 1, 1996 over the murder of Muhammad Shakeel. Trial court had sentenced him to death.

He was then shifted to Bannu jail on September 16, 2011 but ran away during Taliban’s attack on the prison on April 15, 2015.

His mercy appeal was also rejected by the President on December 13, 2016 after which his death warrants were issued.

Sources: Dunya News, The Express Tribune, December 25, 2016

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