FEATURED POST

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Image
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…

Philippines: Defense team eyed for poor offenders facing death penalty

Extreme poverty in Manila, Philippines
Extreme poverty in Manila, Philippines
A Capital Defense Unit with a budget of P260 million that would provide legal assistance to convicts who will be meted death penalty has been proposed in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Luis Campos Jr. of Makati City (Metro Manila) made the proposal in light of ongoing debates on restoration of capital punishment for heinous crimes in the chamber.

Campos over the weekend noted that there should be a state-funded CDU that will provide topnotch private attorneys to poor convicts facing execution to ensure that nobody gets wrongfully doomed on account of his or her simply being poor and inability to obtain superior legal representation.

"Assuming Congress decides to revive death verdicts for the worst criminal offenders, we have to ensure that disadvantaged individuals accused of capital felonies receive the best legal defense available," he said in a statement.

According to Campos, the CDU is in accordance with Section 11, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution that reads, "Adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty."

He suggested that the CDU be run by the University of the Philippines College of Law's Institute of Human Rights and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, with the university paying for all the legal fees of poor defendants facing potential death sentences.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, Campos said, will determine the beneficiaries of the CDU, which will be a different office from the Public Attorney's Office.

"We have to acknowledge that getting hold of adequate legal remedies has a price not everybody can pay," Campos said.

House leaders have announced that administration lawmakers are likely to vote for the passage of death penalty if the measure will provide that penalties for heinous crimes will range from lifetime imprisonment to death, depending on the judge's discretion.

But House Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list would not agree to such compromise, warning that only impoverished citizens inadequately represented at trial would get death sentences.

"Moneyed people who are able to retain high-priced lawyers would always escape conviction. Sadly, the quality of legal representation is still the single biggest factor that would determine whether a defendant receives or dodges the death sentence," Atienza said.

Source: Manila Times, February 11, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Convicted killer from infamous “Texas 7” prison escape gets execution date

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

Texas man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Amnesty International Once Again Highlights Shocking Justice System in Iran

Maria Exposto: Can she avoid execution?

Ohio man with execution set for July 18 blames killing on ‘homosexual panic’