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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 court sentences 4 to death for drug trafficking

Meth bust, file photo
The panel of judges at Tangerang District Court has handed down the death penalty to 3 Taiwanese citizens and one Indonesian for trafficking 60 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine.

The defendants have been identified as Chen Alin, Achen, Alang and Suprapto. 

Alin and Achen, through their lawyers, said that they had not decided on further action while Alang and Suprapto said they would appeal.

"For their offenses, the defendants are sentenced to death. The defendants have been proven guilty of jointly committing acts of crime," said presiding judge Tuti Hariyati said on Friday, as quoted by wartakota.tribunnews.com.

The death sentence was imposed as the panel of judges did not find any mitigating circumstances for the defendants.

Joko Priyatno, the lawyer for Alin and Achen, said his clients were not part of the drug ring that smuggled the meth as Alin came to the country as a technician and Achen as a driver. 

Edi Rustandi, Alang's lawyer, said that his client only possessed 1.06 kg of crystal methamphetamine not 60 kg.

Alin and Achen were arrested at Sun Plaza, South Tangerang, in May, in possession of 6 kg of meth. 

They said that they obtained the meth from Suprapto. 

The police then raided Suprapto's house at Paramount Cluster Alicante residential area and found 54 kilograms of meth.

Source: The Jakarta Post, February 19, 2017

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