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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…

Texas: Judge signs execution warrant for Clinton Young

Clinton Young
Clinton Young
Clinton Young was sentenced to death in 2003 for two murders committed in 2001.

Judge Robert Moore, visiting judge for the 238th District Court, issued a warrant of execution on Monday for Clinton Lee Young, according to the Midland County District Attorney’s Office. 

The 33-year-old has an execution date of Oct. 26 at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit.

Young was sentenced to death in 2003 after he was convicted of the 2001 murders of Doyle Douglas and Samuel Petrey for the use of their vehicles.

The men were fatally shot during a crime spree that ended when Midland authorities apprehended Young, according to previous Reporter-Telegram reports.

Douglas, 41, of Ore City was killed near Longview. Petrey, 52, of Eastland was kidnapped in his hometown and killed in an oilfield near Midland, according to the reports. 

The incidents occurred within a 48-hour period, according to TDCJ records.

Young exhausted his state appeals, according to a Reporter-Telegram report from 2010.

Young, a Titus County native, was being held Tuesday at the Polunsky Unit in Livingston, according to TDCJ records. He is the only Midland County offender on death row, according to the records.

David Lee Page, a co-defendant in the case, is serving a 30-year sentence for aggravated kidnapping. His parole was denied in November, according to TDCJ records.


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