In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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…

Iran: Juvenile Offender Executed in Kerman Prison, Another At Risk in Kermanshah

The Iranian judiciary has executed a juvenile offender who was just 16 years old at the time of the crime for which he received a capital sentence.

Arman Bahr Asemani was hanged the morning of Monday, January 16 in Kerman Prison along with an older co-defendant, Shams Allah R., despite the protest of his lawyer and civil society activists.

Born February 10, 1997, Asemani was a legal minor at the time of the 2012 homicide for which he and Allah R. were arrested and charged.

The Iranian press has focused its coverage of the case on Allah R., the legal adult, with scarce reference to Asemani, reports HRANA.

The capital sentences were carried out as another juvenile offender (whose name has not been made public) at imminent risk of execution for his alleged role in a 2012 stabbing homicide has been brought to global attention by United Nations officials.

Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard, and Chairperson of the Committee on the Rights of the Child Benyam Dawit Mezmur sharply criticized the judiciary’s conduct in a joint statement Monday: “The Iranian authorities must immediately halt the execution of this juvenile and annul the death sentence against [the juvenile defendant] in compliance with international standards for the imposition of this form of punishment.”

Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation has documented at least 122 executions of juvenile offenders in Iran since the beginning of 2000. Our juvenile offender project provides an in-depth look at the Iranian judiciary’s continued policy of executing such offenders, a practice which clearly violates the country’s international legal commitments.

➤ Read the original Persian reporting from HRANA.

Source: ABF blog, January 17, 2017

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