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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…

Former top Chinese cop Zhao Liping executed for murder

Former top Chinese cop Zhao Liping
Top Chinese cop Zhao Liping executed for murder
A former regional police chief in China was executed for murder, state media said Friday, after reports described his victim as a lover more than three decades his junior.

Zhao Liping, 65, was found guilty of murder, bribery and possession of firearms and explosives by a court in Taiyuan, the capital of the northern province of Shanxi, in November.

China’s supreme court announced Friday that Zhao had been executed after it approved the sentence, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

China carries out executions by lethal injection or shooting, but the method used this time was not specified.

Zhao was detained in 2015 in Chifeng on suspicion of killing a 28-year-old woman with whom he “had an intimate relationship” because she wanted to expose his wrongdoings, Chinese media reported earlier.

Zhao opened fire on the woman, who reportedly survived the first two rounds, but after she fled he chased her down in a car and shot her in the head.

Zhao headed the police in Inner Mongolia for seven years until he retired in 2012, and was also a deputy head of the regional People’s Political Consultative Conference, a Communist-controlled debating chamber.

Many fallen Chinese officials have been found to have mistresses, and corruption investigations have often been triggered by allegations from spurned or angry women.

Source: Hong Kong Free Press, May 26, 2017


Former Chinese official executed following supreme court's approval


CHINA'S Supreme People's Court (SPC) announced Friday that Zhao Liping, a former senior political advisor in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, had been executed after the SPC approved the death sentence.

Zhao, former vice chairman of the Inner Mongolia regional committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was convicted of intentional homicide, taking bribes and possession of firearms, according to an SPC statement.

Zhao was found guilty of having shot dead a 26-year old woman, identified only with her surname of Li, in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, on March 20, 2015.

He also took advantage of his post to secure business contracts and official positions for associates, and accepted bribes totaling 23.68 million yuan (3.45 million U.S. dollars) from 2008 to 2010, as the police chief of Inner Mongolia.

During the investigation police located two guns, 49 bullets and 91 detonators that led back to Zhao.

The SPC stated that the death penalty was given on the basis of clear facts and solid and sufficient evidence. Zhao had committed crimes with serious consequences and vile social effects.

The Intermediate People's Court of Taiyuan in north China's Shanxi Province executed Zhao Friday.

Source: Shanghai Daily, May 26, 2017

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