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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…

Iranian authorities executed 1 person every 9 hours in January 2017

Iran: Barbaric and medieval punishments
Iran: Barbaric and medieval punishments
The Iranian authorities hanged 87 people in the month of January 2017, that's one execution every nine hours.

Iran Human Rights (FEB 3 2017): According to reports compiled by Iran Human Rights, the Iranian authorities hanged 87 people in the month of January 2017, including two juvenile prisoners and six prisoners who were executed in public. 

Out of the 87 executions, only 19 of them were announced by official Iranian sources. 

Most of the executions which were carried out in Iran in January 2017 were for drug related charges.

According to research conducted by Iran Human Rights, executions tend to significantly increase in the months leading to an election in Iran but significantly decrease or stop a couple weeks before the election. 

Iran Human Rights is deeply concerned that a new wave of executions have started in Iran and worries that the number of executions will increase following the "Fajr Decade" celebrations.

Iran Human Rights urges the international community, especially European countries, to pay attention to the execution crisis in Iran, and calls on all countries which have diplomatic relations with the Iranian authorities to call on the Iranian authorities to stop executions.

"In the month of January, we witnessed an average of one execution every nine hours, including two juvenile offenders and six public executions. Lack of reactions from the international community to these executions encourages the Iranian authorities to execute even more people in the months leading to the 2017 presidential election," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

Source: Iran Human Rights, February 3, 2017

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