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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…

Mary Jane Veloso’s lawyers to seek SC nod on deposition

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
The camp of Filipino death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso would elevate to the Supreme Court (SC) its plea to allow the deposition of testimony against her alleged recruiters from her jail cell in Indonesia.

According to National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia, they would file the petition questioning the Court of Appeals' action against the deposition in the first week of June.

"We are preparing the petition," Olalia said in a text message on Friday.

Veloso's testimony was supposed to be gathered on April 27 in Yogyakarta prison but the CA 11th Division came out last March with a temporary restraining order (TRO) whose validity was extended through a preliminary injunction issued on May 22.

The CA action stemmed from the petition filed by the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), counsel for Veloso's recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao, who said the deposition was against the constitutional right of the accused.

The PAO cited Section 14 paragraph 2 of the Bill of Rights, which gives, among others, an accused the right to a speedy, impartial, and public trial and meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence.

"The recruiters assert that they want to confront her in person yet they themselves oppose and put all roadblocks every step of the way to make this happen," Olalia said.

Veloso was sentenced to die by firing squad in April 2015 after she was found guilty of drug trafficking, but Indonesian authorities agreed to hold off the execution so she could testify in the case against her recruiters in the Philippines.

Source: GMA News, Virgil Lopez, May 26, 2017

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