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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…

Singapore: 4 Malaysians, 2 Singaporeans arrested in regional drug syndicate bust

CNB officers, Singapore
SINGAPORE - Four Malaysian members of a Malaysia-based drug syndicate have been arrested, along with two Singaporeans suspected of coordinating drug supply runs for the syndicate, after joint investigations by Singapore's Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and Malaysia's Narcotics Crime Investigation Department (NCID).

Late last year (2016), CNB had intelligence showing that two Singaporeans were involved in the syndicate, supplying sizeable amounts of drugs to a neighbouring country, CNB said in a press release on Thursday (May 11).

It initiated joint investigations with the Royal Malaysian Police's NCID to dismantle the syndicate and arrest its members.

CNB shared information with NCID regarding the identification of the two Singaporean suspects, and NCID managed to track down the two Singaporeans and their Malaysian associates.

During the operation, NCID recovered about 64kg of Ice or methamphetamine, 61.5kg of ketamine and 23,985 Ecstasy tablets.

That same day, NCID arrested the two Singaporean men aged 43 and 58 in Johor Baru.

The 58-year-old was found to be in possession of 11g of Ice, 68 Erimin-5 tablets and a small amount of ketamine.

NCID investigations are ongoing.

If convicted of drug trafficking, both Singaporeans could face the death penalty.

CNB director Ng Ser Song said he was very glad that CNB's timely sharing of intelligence with NCID aided the latter in the operation, which saw the seizure of a significant amount of drugs and the dismantling of a regional drug trafficking syndicate with tentacles in a few countries.

"I would like to reiterate that the fight against drugs must be fought with close cooperation between counterparts," he said. "No drug enforcement agency can afford to do it alone, especially against drug trafficking syndicates which operate near seamlessly between different countries."

He added that drug enforcement agencies must cooperate even more closely to dismantle syndicates and their deadly trade, as drug trafficking syndicates themselves show a close measure of cooperation.

Source: Straits Times, May 11, 2017

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