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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…

Iran: Nine Prisoners Hanged on Drug Charges

Iran Human Rights (FEB 20 2017): Nine prisoners have reportedly been hanged in Iran on drug related charges.

Two Prisoners Executed in Dizel Abad (Kermanshah province, western Iran)

According to close sources, two prisoners were hanged on drug related charges on Saturday February 18 at Dizsel Abad Prison. 

The prisoners have been identified as Mohammad Karim Azizpanah, 43 years of age, sentenced to death on the charge of trafficking three kilograms and 350 grams of crystal meth, and Hamid Reza Reybaz, 35 years of age, sentenced to death on the charge of trafficking two kilograms of crystal meth and 200 grams of crack.

"Mohammad Karim is father to two sons. The drugs were in no way his. He was a driver who was driving a passenger to Kermashah when he was arrested and never returned," a family member of Mr. Azizpanah tells Iran Human Rights.

Prisoner Executed in Shiraz (Fars province, southern Iran)

According to the Baloch Activists Campaign, a prisoner was hanged at Shiraz Prison on the morning of Tuesday February 20. 

The prisoner has been identified as Ismael Hassanzehi, sentenced to death on drug related charges. 

The report says that prison authorities had told Mr. Hassanzehi's family to travel from Sistan & Baluchestan to Shiraz Prison in order to have their last visit with him, but when they arrived, they were given Mr. Hassanzehi's dead body instead.

Six Prisoners Executed in Birjand (South Khorasan province, eastern Iran)

According to the Baloch Activists Campaign, six unidentified prisoners were hanged at Birjand Prison on drug related charges. 

The exact dates of the executions are not known, but it is reported that they were carried out in the last few days.

Iranian Authorities Silent on Executions

Iranian official sources, including the media and the Judiciary, have not announced these nine executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, February 20, 2017

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