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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…

Man who killed police officer sentenced to death in Kuwait

Hit and run driver wounds five others as people celebrate Kuwait National Day

Manama | A court in Kuwait has sentenced a Kuwaiti to death for killing one police officer and wounding five others.

The crime occurred in February 2016 as the country was celebrating its National Day.

Reports said that the driver was involved in a hit and run accident after he drove into a security check-point and tried to escape.

As officers chased him, he took out a knife he had concealed under his clothes and stabbed one of them killing him. He was eventually subdued and arrested.

The police said the dead police officer was Turki Mohammad Al Enzi and that the murderer, Abdul Aziz Al Shamlan, was 22 years old.

The court said the death verdict was based on the police reports, the confessions of the defendant and on the medical report.

The murderer’s father said at the time that no sensible person would target police officers and explained that his son had mental problems.

“My son has an incident previously and was admitted to a local hospital three months ago,” he was quoted as saying. “We do not in any way condone what happened to the police officers who are protecting Kuwait and its security.”

News of the murder shocked Kuwait, especially that the nation was in a festive mood and recovering from the suicide bombing inside a mosque in June 2015 that killed 27 people and injured 227.

Source: Gulf News, May 29, 2017

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