FEATURED POST

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Image
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…

UK: Queen to meet Bahrain King, despite executions and torture

The Queen and the King of Bahrain at last year's Royal Windsor Horse Show
The Queen and the King of Bahrain at last year's Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The Queen is to sit alongside the King of Bahrain at the Royal Windsor Horse Show tomorrow – despite the Kingdom’s recent lifting of a moratorium on the death penalty, and a surge in executions of protestors.

According to reports, King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa will ‘host’ the Queen and 19 other VIPs at the annual Windsor Horse Show, in a special ‘Kingdom of Bahrain Lounge’.

The royal meeting will take place amid a crackdown on political dissent in the Kingdom. 

The Bahraini authorities recently resumed executions after a 6-year moratorium, executing three political protesters who had been sentenced to death on the strength of forced ‘confessions’. At least two more protesters could be executed at any time.

International human rights group Reprieve has found that the British government has given substantial support to Bahrain’s criminal justice system, despite human rights concerns. The UK support includes the training of hundreds of guards on Bahrain’s death row, where torture of political prisoners is rife.

Commenting, Director of Reprieve Maya Foa said:

“Make no mistake – visits like this gift the Bahraini government a royal cloak of acceptability, while the Kingdom mercilessly executes political prisoners and uses torture to extract ‘confessions’. Theresa May wants stronger UK-Gulf relations, but we must not help the Bahrainis to whitewash their appalling abuses. Instead of drafting in the Queen to cosy up to King Hamad, the UK must urgently protest Bahrain’s use of torture and executions to silence opponents.”

 The UK Foreign Office has spent over £5 million in aid money on reforming Bahrain’s human rights record since protests swept the Gulf kingdom in 2011. More information on the UK’s support for Bahrain’s prison system is available at the Reprieve website, here.

Source: Reprieve, May 11, 2017. Reprieve is an international human rights organization.

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Texas executes Juan Castillo

Mary Jane Veloso: The woman the firing squad left behind

Five executed in Iran, two hanged in public

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

What Indiana officials want to keep secret about executions

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Collection of items from the career of Britain's most famous executioner discovered

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up