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

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…

Indian drug mule caught on sixth visit to Malaysia

Malaysian custom officers (file photo)
SEPANG: A drug mule from India was not lucky on his sixth visit to Malaysia as he was caught for attempting to smuggle 5.15kg of methamphetamine drugs hidden in his luggage bag today.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport's (KLIA) Customs director Datuk Hamzah Sundang said the 55-year-old from Chennai buried the drugs underneath piles of sarong.

"We detained him on Tuesday at 7.15am at the KLIA 1 after the personnel at the baggage scanning checkpoint of Terminal 1 spotted a suspicious package in his luggage," he said at a press conference at the KLIA Customs Cargo Complex today.

"According to his passport records, he visited Malaysia six times this year alone as a tourist. The drug that he smuggled worth about RM360,500.

"We managed to intercept the drug smuggling attempts into our country based on our Custom Department's surveillance and intelligence."

The suspect has a return ticket.

Hamzah said when interrogated, the suspect said he was on his way to a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, and a friend was supposed to pick up the bag of clothes.

He added that Customs officers were well aware with drug-related cases involving visitors from Chennai.

"We have our team, comprising plain-clothed enforcement officers to monitor the situation," he said, adding that the current methamphetamine seizure were meant for the domestic market.

The suspect is being remanded for seven days starting today under Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, which carries a death penalty if found guilty.

On May 23, the Customs Department of KLIA seized 8.37kg of smuggled ketamine drugs, valued at RM376,650, from an Indian tourist.

A first-time visitor to Malaysia, the 38-year-old man from Kochi, who was travelling on a one-way Malindo Air ticket to KL, was detained by Customs officers as he was going through the airport scanner.

Source: The Sun Daily, July 5, 2017

Singapore: Eight arrested, half a kilo of Ice seized in CNB operations

SINGAPORE - Eight people were arrested and more than half a kg of Ice was seized in operations by the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) on Tuesday (July 4).

The CNB deployed its officers to observe three suspected drug offenders in the vicinity of Senja Road on Tuesday (July 4) evening.

The first suspect, a 32-year-old male Singaporean, was arrested within a multi-storey carpark and found to have about 17g of Ice.

Two other suspects - male Singaporeans aged 30 and 33 - were arrested by another group of CNB officers at the junction of Bukit Panjang Ring Road and Senja Road.

About 360g of 'Ice' was found in a bag belonging to the 33-year-old suspect.

Separately, another group of officers raided a unit in the vicinity of Yishun Avenue 11 and arrested a 29-year-old suspected drug trafficker, recovering about 138g of Ice from him.

Investigations led officers to another unit in the area, where four suspected drug abusers - a 23-year-old woman, a 22-year-old man, a 26-year-old man and a 49-year-old man, all Singaporeans - were arrested.

About 60g of Ice, a "small amount" of cannabis and two Ecstasy tablets were recovered from within the unit, said the CNB.

Investigations into all the cases are ongoing.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act, people convicted of trafficking more than 250g of methamphetamine, also known as Ice, may face the death penalty.

This amount is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 185 abusers for a week.

Source: StraitsTimes, July 5, 2017

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