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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…

Pakistan: 2 militants hanged in Sahiwal Jail

Police authorities confirmed that 2 militants were hanged in Sahiwal jail today, reported Waqt News. According to reports both militants were involved in several terrorist activities. Both had been convicted by military courts and had been kept in Sahiwal jail for a long time.

Their dead bodies were handed over to their relatives.

On March 7, execution of terrorists already convicted by the military courts was resumed with five hardcore terrorists sent to the gallows at District Jail Kohat on Wednesday.

According to ISPR, the executed terrorists include Shaukat Ali, Imdad Ullah, Sabir Shah, Khandan and Anwar Ali.

The convicted terrorists were involved in attacks on Pakistan Army and other law enforcement personnel.

All the 5 terrorists had confessed to their crimes before the military courts.

Execution of these terrorists comes at a time when the government is on the verge of extending the term of the military courts, which came to end earlier this year after lapse of the Sunset Clause.

These courts were established under the 21st constitutional amendment after the 2014 terrorist attack on the Army Public School (APS), Peshawar.

Military's top brass on January 11 lauded the role of military courts for greatly helping in bringing the heightened wave of terrorism down across the country.

According to the ISPR, 274 cases were referred to the military courts.

Out of 274 cases, 161 convicts were awarded the death penalty, 12 were executed and 113 were awarded imprisonment of varying duration.

The cases were dealt through due process of law in the military courts.

Source: The Nation, April 12, 2017

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