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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…

Bangladesh: Mufti Hannan’s pleas for presidential clemency rejected

Mufti Abdul Hannan
Mufti Abdul Hannan
It’s the gallows for Mufti Hannan, after the Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI) leader had his pleas for presidential clemency rejected, said home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Saturday.

“The honourable president rejected Mufti Hannan’s pleas for presidential clemency. We will take action according to the jail code,” the minister told ProthomAlo.

On 19 March, the appellate division of the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of three HuJi men, including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, in a case filed for the grenade attack on the UK envoy in Bangladesh Anwar Choudhury in 2004.

On 21 March, the appellate division released the full text of its verdict on the review petition of the three HuJi men challenging their death penalties.

Convicted of killing in terrorist attack, the chief of Bangladeshi chapter of Harkat ul Islam, Abdul Hannan, sought presidential clemency after the apex court dismissed his plea to review death sentence, prison authorities said on Wednesday.

Hannan, also known as Mufti Hannan, expressed his willingness to seek the pardon after officials read out the death warrant to the convict after the Supreme Court rejected his review against the conviction.

"Hannan told us that he would file mercy petition to the president," senior jail superintendent Mizanur Rahman said as the authorities were preparing for execution of the terrorist.

Inspector General of Prisons Brigadier General Syed Iftekhar Uddin told reporters that all preparations were taken to hang the militants.

Sources: ProthomAlo, April 9, 2017; newsnextbd.com, March 23, 2017

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