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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…

Kenyan woman sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia

Custom officers, Malaysia
A Kenyan woman was sentenced to death by a Malaysian court after she was found guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine 4 years ago.

According to Malaysian Daily Express, Rose Achieng Ojala had stuffed 3 capsules of the drug into her private parts and swallowed another 68 capsules, all weighing about 400gm.

She was arrested on November 30, 2013 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport after arriving from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The mother of three, who allegedly suffered from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), had fainted before the proceedings and had to be taken into the court room in a wheelchair.

On the day she was arrested, an Immigration officer noticed that she was behaving suspiciously during the regular luggage inspection.

Upon searching her, 3 capsules of methamphetamine weighing more than 20g were found in her underwear.

She admitted that her boyfriend had stuffed the capsules into her private parts before she boarded the flight.

The woman, who claimed she was pregnant, was later taken to the Serdang Hospital, where an x-ray examination revealed that she had swallowed 68 capsules of the drug weighing more than 380gm.

In convicting Ojala, the judge said the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

"You are found guilty and there is no other punishment under Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1962 except the death sentence," he said.

Ojala was also sentenced to 3 years' jail for possessing 20.7g of methamphetamine in her underwear.

She was a single mother of children aged between 4 and 15.

Source: the-star.co.ke, June 10, 2017

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