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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…

Photos of maximum-security prisons in Norway and the US reveal the extremes of prison life

US Administrative Security Facility, or ADX Florence, in Florence, Colorado.
US Administrative Security Facility, or ADX Florence, in Florence, Colorado.
Inside the walls of the toughest prison in the US, a fork is a deadly weapon. Inside the walls of Norway's toughest prison, a fork is, well ... a fork.

The differences extend far past silverware. In just about every way, the approaches that the US and Norway take to criminal justice fall on opposite ends of the spectrum.

While the US uses isolation to punish offenders and keep them away from civil society, Norway prefers to rehabilitate its inmates so they can return to the outside world — there are no life sentences.

No two prisons make that difference more clear than the super-max Administrative Security Facility, or ADX Florence, in Florence, Colorado and Halden Prison, in Halden, Norway.

Not all US prisons are as strict as ADX, and while Halden is technically maximum-security, it's still closer to the rule than the exception in Norway. Here's what life is like at both extremes.



Exercise cages, ADX Florence, Colorado
Exercise cages, ADX Florence, Colorado


Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence. No contact with other inmates.
Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence.
No contact with other inmates.


Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence. Inmates spend 23 hours a day locked up, alone.
Solitary Housing Unit (SHU), ADX Florence.
Inmates spend 23 hours a day locked up, alone.


Halden Prison, Norway. Cells look  like College dorm bedrooms.
Halden Prison, Norway. Cells look like College dorm bedrooms.


Halden Prison, Norway. A rec room allows inmates to socialize
Halden Prison, Norway. A recreation room allows inmates to socialize.


Click here to read the full article (+ photos)

Source: Business Insider, Chris Weller, February 5, 2017

➤ Recommended resource: Where to Invade Next, a documentary by Michael Moore, 2015. To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer...

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