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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…

Two Drug Convicts Escape From Nusakambangan Prison Island, Indonesia

Patrolling the strait between Nusakambangan island and the mainland.
Patrolling the strait between Nusakambangan Prison Island and the mainland.
Jakarta. Two convicted drug offenders reportedly escaped from Batu Prison on Nusakambangan Island in Cilacap, Central Java, on Saturday afternoon (21/01).

Batu Prison warden Abdul Aris confirmed the incident and said a joint team is currently searching for the two, identified as 43-year-old M. Husein and 40-year-old Syarjani Abdullah.

"Beside the prison wardens, the search also involves the Cilacap Police, Cilacap Military District Command, local Navy base, Kopassus [Special Forces Command] and local residents," Abdul said.

The team is conducting the search on both land and sea.

The two are believed to have escaped at around 2.00 p.m. because they were last seen performing the noon prayer at the prison mosque.

Security personnel have scanned surveillance camera footage recorded between 1.20 p.m. and 4.00 p.m., but found no signs of the two men.

Officials have also distributed photos and other details of the escapees in the hope that members of the public may identify them.

"Hopefully, we can find them soon," Abdul said.

One of the men, M. Husein, hails from Punti Matangkuli village in Matangkuli district, Aceh. He was sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment for his involvement in the drug trade.

Fellow escapee Syarjani Abdullah used to reside in Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, before he was sentenced to life imprisonment for a similar offense.

Source: Jakarta Globe, January 21, 2017

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