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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…

Iran: At Least 10 Prisoners Including Afghan Citizens Hanged on Drug Charges

Public execution, Iran
At least ten prisoners, including three Afghan citizens, were reportedly hanged at Taybad Prison on drug related charges.

Iran Human Rights (JULY 12 2017): On Sunday July 9, at least ten prisoners, including three Afghan citizens, were reportedly hanged at Taybad Prison (Razavi Khorasan province, northeastern Iran) on drug related charges.

Iran Human Rights has obtained the names of four of the prisoners: Nasser Karimi, Mahmoud Teymouri, Abolfazl Mokhtebaz, and Ahmad Sheikhi.

Iranian authorities are carrying out death sentences for drug related charges at the same time that a bill is being reviewed by the Judicial Commission of the Iranian Parliament calling for the death sentences for many prisoners charged with drug trafficking to be called off. Iranian parliament members had requested from the Judiciary to stop drug related executions for at least five thousand prisoners pending further investigation. However, the request has not stopped the Judiciary from carrying out death sentences for prisoners with drug related charges.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and the media, have not announced these executions.

At least Two Prisoners Including Father of 7 Year Old Child Executed on Drug Charges


Iran Human Rights (JULY 12 2017): A prisoner was reportedly executed at Mahabad Prison and at least one prisoner was reportedly executed at Rasht's central prison. Both prisoners were reportedly executed on drug related charges.

According to close sources, the prisoner at Mahabad Prison was executed on the morning of Monday July 10. Iran Human Rights has obtained the name of this prisoner: Sheikh Morad Ebrahimi.

"Sheikh Morad was arrested five years ago on the charge of possession and trafficking of two kilograms of morphine. He was sentenced to death even though he had no criminal record. He is the father of a seven-year-old girl with autism," an informed source told Iran Human Rights.

According to a report by the human rights news agency, HRANA, the prisoner at Rasht's central prison was executed on the morning of Saturday July 8. The report identifies the prisoner as Hossein Hosseini, 32 years of age. Mr. Hosseini was reportedly arrested in 2013 on the charge of producing crystal meth. According to HRANA, it is likely that a total of seven prisoners were executed on Saturday at this prison, but has not been able to confirm the exact number.

"At the time of his arrest, they didn't find any narcotics on him. He was convicted based on the claim of police forces that the machinery and equipment they found on him was for producing crystal meth," a source close to the family of Mr. Hosseini told Iran Human Rights. According to the close source, Mr. Hosseini confessed under pressure and physical torture to producing and selling three kilograms of crystal meth. "Other than the forced confession, there was no other evidence against him."

Iranian official sources, including the media and the Judiciary, have not announced these executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 12, 2017

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