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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…

EU Blasts Belarus Supreme Court Upholding Death Sentence Against Aliaksei Mikhalenia

Eurasia Review -- The Belarusian Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the death sentence against Aliaksei Mikhalenia.

The decision has brought condemnation from the EU.

“The continued application of the death penalty runs counter to Belarus’ stated willingness to engage with the international community, including the European Union, on the matter,” the spokesperson for the European External Action Service said in a statement.

“The European Union reaffirms its strong opposition to capital punishment and urges Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment, to commute the remaining death sentences and to introduce without delay a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition,” the statement concluded.

Source: Eurasia Review, July 1, 2017

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