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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…

Indonesia secures release of man on death row in Saudi Arabia

Syarif Hidayat Anang (center), arrives in Jakarta after being spared from death row in Saudi Arabia.
Syarif Hidayat Anang (center) arrives in Jakarta after being spared
from death row in Saudi Arabia.
The Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh has secured the release of an Indonesian man who had been on death row in Saudi Arabia for alleged murder, the Foreign Ministry revealed.

The man, identified as Syarif Hidayat Anang, was arrested by Saudi authorities in 2013 on allegations of being complicit in the murder of another Indonesian citizen, Enah Nurhasan.

He was detained alongside three Saudi citizens in Ahsa in the country's east, according to a statement by the ministry's directorate for the protection of Indonesian nationals and entities abroad.

From the outset, the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh had provided legal assistance, having appointed Saudi lawyer Abdullah Al Mohaemeed to represent Syarif until 2015. 

Since May 2016, defense duties were taken over by Muhammad Ahmad al-Qarni, another legal adviser.

"From the results of an investigation into the case files by the Indonesian Embassy's protection team, we were certain that Syarif was not involved in the murder, and that's why we went all out to secure his release," Dede Rifai, the embassy's consular attaché who coordinated the legal efforts, said on Saturday.

Syarif was acquitted on all charges on Dec. 12 last year, while the remaining suspects remained on death row. 

He arrived in Jakarta late on Friday in the company of his legal adviser, following the issuance of his release earlier this week, the ministry revealed.

Source: The Jakarta Post, Tama Salim, January 7, 2017

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