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…

Merkel in Saudi Arabia: Chancellor must help juveniles who face beheading

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Saudi Arabia
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been urged to use a visit to Saudi Arabia today to press for the release of three juveniles who face beheading for allegedly attending protests.

Mrs Merkel is due to arrive in Saudi Arabia today for talks focused on issues of 'mutual interest', including German cooperation with Saudi security forces.

The visit takes place amid fears for three prisoners who were arrested as children in 2012, tortured by Saudi police, and sentenced to death on charges that relate to political protests.

Ali al-Nimr, Abdullah al-Zaher and Dawood al-Marhoon were sentenced to beheading and, in Ali’s case, ‘crucifixion’ despite their being 17, 15, and 17 respectively at the time of their arrest. 

All three juveniles were convicted on the strength of their forced ‘confessions’. They could be executed at any time.

In January 2016, German officials condemned the execution of 47 people en masse by the Saudi authorities, including several juveniles. 

At least one juvenile who was executed – Ali al-Ribh – was convicted on charges relating to protests, as were Abdullah, Dawood and Ali.

Commenting, Harriet McCulloch – a deputy director at international human rights organization Reprieve – said: “As Chancellor Merkel visits Riyadh, the Kingdom continues to oversee horrifying abuses – from torture and forced ‘confessions’ to the death penalty for juveniles such as Ali al Nimr. Mrs Merkel must make it very clear that Germany will not support Saudi security forces while they are are involved in executions and police torture - and she must urgently call for the release of Ali, Dawood and Abdullah."

Source: Reprieve, April 30, 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.

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

What Indiana officials want to keep secret about executions

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up

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

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

Texas prisons taking heat over aging execution drugs experts say could cause 'torturous' deaths

Texas executes Juan Castillo

Iraq court sentences Belgian jihadist to death for IS membership