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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…

Belarus parliament discusses death penalty issues

MINSK, 3 May (BelTA) - Death penalty issues were discussed in the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus on 3 May. 

Attending the meeting were MPs and foreign experts, BelTA has learned. Andrei Naumovich, Chairman of the Human Rights, National Relations, and Mass Media Commission of the House of Representatives, stated that a working group on death penalty was set up in the new-convocation parliament. 

The working group will inform the public on the aspects of the punishment and provide a full-fledged monitoring of the situation. 

MPs will hold meetings in constituencies, study people's opinion in the regions. “The matter requires a wide-ranging discussion with the people of the Republic of Belarus,” Andrei Naumovich said. 

He also mentioned that this issue was discussed during the recent visit of Andrea Rigoni, Rapporteur on Belarus of the Political Affairs and Democracy Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), to Belarus. 

MPs and senators expressed their opinions on the matter during today's meeting. 

One of the key speakers was member of the Death Penalty Expert Group at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Parvais Jabbar.

Source: Belarus News, May 3, 2017

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