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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 may finalise Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution in 6 months

A final decision on whether former Indian naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav will face the gallows or not is expected to be taken by Pakistan in about 6 to 7 months, sources have said.

But the intensifying civilian-military tussle in that country over the Dawn news leaks issue may well have "complicated" matters, since Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and sabotage.

New Delhi is hoping that the death sentence will be at least commuted to life imprisonment. Sources also said a decision by Pakistan on the visa application of Jadhav's parents is expected soon.

Pakistan PM's advisor on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz had said earlier, "As per law, Kulbushan Jadhav has following available options. He has the right to appeal within 40 days to an Appellate Court. He may lodge a mercy petition to the COAS within 60 days of the decision by the appellate court. He may also lodge a mercy petition to the President of Pakistan within 90 days after the decision of COAS on the mercy petition."

According to foreign policy watchers, Pakistan's Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa is expected to reject any mercy petition filed, since he had "confirmed" the death penalty verdict by the military court in the first place.

With the Pakistan Army adopting a hardline stand on the matter and being in the forefront of the move to deny Jadhav consular access, there seems little possibility of the Pakistan Army chief granting mercy to Jadhav.

Therefore, it seems fairly obvious that ultimately the Pakistan President will have to take the final call on whether Jadhav will be hanged or not. The alternative is to commute the sentence to life imprisonment.

But going by the fact that the Pakistan Army is calling the shots, it seems most likely that any decision by the Pakistan President will also be taken after the Army there is on board.

Source: Deccan Chronicle, May 1, 2017


Murderer gets death penalty


A man was awarded death sentence in a murder case in Dera Ghazi Khan on Sunday. The judgment was announced by the Additional District and Sessions Judge Khizar Hayat.

According to prosecution, accused Mazhar Hussain had gunned down his mother-in-law Ghulam Fatima and injured sister-in-law Jeevan Mai for demanding dowry in November 2011. After the incident, the accused fled the scene but was later arrested by the police.

After complete investigation, police submitted a challan in court. Following proceedings, the court sentenced Mazhar to death and imposed a fine of Rs0.2 million.

Similarly, Additional District and Sessions Judge Majid Kareem Farooq sentenced 2 accused to life term in a murder case. Accused Abdul Khaliq and Muhammad Saleem had killed Muhammad Rafiq after snatching a cheque of Rs70,000 on March 8, 2013.

Source: The Express Tribune, May 1, 2017

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