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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…

China to formulate judicial exclusionary rule of illegal evidence

Nie Shubin
Nie Shubin
China will formulate and issue a judicial interpretation on the throwing out of illegally-obtained evidence.

At a meeting attended by the heads of higher people's courts nationwide on Saturday, courts were asked to implement policies regarding the death penalty.

They were told to learn from the case of Nie Shubin, an innocent man who was wrongfully executed over 20 years ago.

Stricter punishments will be given to crimes of murder, robbery, kidnapping, women trafficking and telecom fraud, according to the meeting.

Violations in the securities market will also be handled according to law, and more should be done to educate minors involved in school bullying, it was stressed at the meeting.

The courts were also called to intensify the analysis and study of the root causes of corruption and loopholes in the supervision system to improve anti-corruption systems.

Chinese courts at all levels received over 23 million cases in 2016 and concluded the trial or enforcement of about 19.8 million cases, statistics revealed at the meeting showed.

Source: ecns.cn, January 15, 2017

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