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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…

Death row inmate's judicial review bid not interfering with Singapore affairs, says lawyer

Prabagaran Srivijayan
Prabagaran Srivijayan
The judicial review bid by a Malaysian death row inmate in Singapore to compel the Malaysian government to take his case to an international court is not an "interference" in Singapore affairs, his lawyer N. Surendran said today.

S. Prabagaran, 29, who is facing death sentence for drug trafficking in Singapore, and his mother V. Eswary, both filed the judicial review at a High Court here today, seeking leave to obtain a mandamus for the Malaysian government to institute legal action against Singapore at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"We are not entering Singapore's affairs. It's just wanting justice done for a Malaysian citizen," he told reporters after filing the judicial review here today.

"Malaysia has the right to raise any cases regarding the treatment of its citizens abroad," he added.

Surendran said that such a case has never been filed by Malaysia before, but there have been precedents elsewhere in the world, such as Mexico taking United States to the ICJ over Mexican citizens in death row in the US.

Prabagaran, who allegedly drove a car with drugs to a Singapore immigration checkpoint in 2012, has exhausted all his appeals, but his lawyers said that he has not received a fair trial.

Prabagaran has claimed he did not own the car he was driving and had identified individuals who are the original owners of the car, but Singapore authorities reportedly have not sought the other individuals with the assistance of Malaysian authorities.

"It is customary international law for an individual to receive fair trial.

"The aspect of a fair trial has been contravened in Prabagaran's case," he added.

Prabagaran is facing execution in just a few weeks and the judicial review filed today is his last resort to get the case brought to the ICJ.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International Malaysia director Shamini Darshini, who was also present, said the human rights watchdog will start a petition to stay Prabagaran's execution and abolish the death penalty, directed towards both Malaysian and Singapore governments.

Source: Yahoo News, January 16, 2017

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