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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: Eight Prisoners Hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison

Iran execution
Iran Human Rights (JULY 6 2017): On the morning of Wednesday July 5, eight prisoners were reportedly hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison. 

According to close sources, the prisoners were likely executed on murder charges.

Iran Human Rights has obtained the names of four of these prisoners: Ghahreman Abbaspour, Abbas Yousefi, Nasser Avangah and Omid Rostami.

The eight individuals were among a group of eleven prisoners who were transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday July 2 in preparation for their executions. 

The execution sentences of three of the eleven prisoners were not carried out, and they were returned to their cells.

The human rights news agency, HRANA, had reported that Ghahreman Abbaspour was sentenced to death for murder based on Qasameh (a testimonial given under oath) and despite the lack of evidence against him.

Qasameh is one way, within the Islamic jurisprudence and criminal law in Iran, to prove crimes related to murder and physical injuries without enough evidence against the suspect. 

Qasameh is used when a judge believes the testimonial to be true despite lack of evidence.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 6, 2017

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