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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…

Schapelle’s nightmare is over, but the Bali Nine’s continues

Matthew Norman
Matthew Norman was initially given life, upped to the death sentence on
appeal, and then reinstated to life in jail after a full confession.
AS Schapelle Corby’s Bali nightmare for drug smuggling comes to a close, what does the future hold for the remaining seven of the infamous Bali Nine?

As one chapter of an Aussie convicted for drug smuggling in Indonesia draws to a close, the Bali Nine is now seven.

It’s just two years since Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran faced a firing squad for their role in the attempted smuggling of 8.3kg of heroin worth $4 million out of Indonesia in April 2005.

They paid for the plan with their lives.

The other Bali Nine members: Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj, Renae Lawrence, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Matthew Norman, Scott Rush, and Martin Stephens were sent to prison.

Six are serving life sentences, with Lawrence currently the only one who will possibly taste freedom. But not for another nine years.

Under Indonesian law, prisoners serving life terms can apply for a determinant sentence of 20 years.
Norman and Chen have for years tried to have their life sentences reduced, but so far not been awarded the reduced sentence.

Norman and Chen are the only two members of the Bali Nine now held in Kerobokan jail. Lawrence is in a different jail in Bali, as is Scott Rush.

Stephens, Tan Dutch Tanh Nguyen and Michael Czugaj are in jails in Java, having been moved by authorities.


The executed ringleaders


The Sydney men were the masterminds behind the Bali Nine.

Andrew Chan, 31 and Myuran Sukumaran 34, were executed by firing squad on the Indonesian prison island of Nusa Kambangan on April 29, 2015.

The pair, by then praised for their efforts to rehabilitate themselves and help other prisoners, had also embraced Christianity.

As they faced the death penalty, they became leaders at Kerobokan Prison — running classes in religion, art and cooking., and acting as leaders, mentors and counsellors.

Pleas for clemency from the prison governor, who described them as model prisoners who shouldn’t be executed because of their positive influence on other inmates, fell on deaf ears.

They refused blindfolds, and faced their fate and final moments singing “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)”.

Their voices fell silent under the gunfire.

In the days before his death - on April 27, 2015 - Chan married Febyanti Herewila, who he had met while she was visiting another inmate.

➤ Click here to read the full article

Source: news.com.au, Debbie Schipp , May 28, 2017

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