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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…

Kuwait to conduct 7 executions today, including Shaikh Faisal's

Triple execution in Kuwait in April 2013
Triple execution in Kuwait in April 2013
Shaikh Faisal Al Abdullah Al Sabah was sentenced to death for the murder of his nephew

Manama: Kuwait will today execute seven people, including Shaikh Faisal Al Abdullah Al Sabah, after they were found guilty of murder or drug trafficking and sentenced to the death penalty.

Three of the people to be hanged at the Central Prison are women; a Kuwaiti, an Ethiopian, and a Filipina.

The others are two Egyptians and a Bangladeshi, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Wednesday.

The inmates were allowed final visits on Tuesday by relatives in the cases of the Kuwaitis and by representatives from their diplomatic missions for the foreigners,

The Interior Ministry has taken all the measures to carry out the death sentences, including coordination with the Special Forces, and the Ministry of Health.

Shaikh Faisal was sentenced to death in October 2011 after the Criminal Court found him guilty of the murder of his nephew Shaikh Basil Salem Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah.

Shaikh Faisal who worked as a captain in the Kuwaiti army had gone in June 2010 to visit Shaikh Basil at the Maseelah palace owned by the late Emir. The two princes were sitting together with other people, when the alleged killer told his nephew that he wanted to speak with him in private.

The two princes left the main room and, seconds later, guests heard shots. Upon entering the room, they found Shaikh Basil wounded and promptly took him to Mubarak Al Kabeer Hospital where he was declared dead.

Medical staff said that the prince had been shot several times at close range. The police arrested the alleged killer and started an investigation into the case.

Shaikh Basil, 52, is the grandson of Kuwait’s 12th Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah, who ruled from November 24, 1965 until December 31, 1977, and the eldest son of Shaikh Salem Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah and Shaikha Badriya Abdullah Al Jaber Al Sabah.

His father was Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States, Canada and Venezuela from 1970 until 1975. He held the portfolios of social affairs and labour, interior, defence and foreign affairs until 2001 when he gave up political work on health grounds.

The Kuwaiti authorities had ruled out any political motives behind the murder as Shaikh Basil did not hold an official position with the government.

The death sentence was upheld in 2013.

The Kuwaiti woman, Nasra Al Enezi, was sentenced to death after she set in 2009 a wedding tent in Jahra in the suburbs of Kuwait City ablaze killing 57 women and children.

Investigations revealed that Nasra, 23 years old at the time, had started the fire in an act of revenge against her husband who was celebrating his marriage with a new wife.

The death sentence was upheld by the Cassation Court in 2011.

Source: Gulf News, January 25, 2017

➤ Related article: OFW Jakatia Pawa hanged in Kuwait, January 25, 2017

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