FEATURED POST

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

Image
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…

Singapore: Lawyer, activists slam pre-execution photoshoot

Prabagaran Srivijayan
Repulsive: S Prabagaran pre-execution photo
They say the practice is inhumane and morbid, while being insensitive to the grief and anguish one has to endure when on death row.

PETALING JAYA: N Surendran has slammed the practice in Singapore which has death-row inmates take part in a photoshoot “a day or two” before they are sent to the gallows, labelling it “inhumane”.

The lawyer who represented the family of S Prabagaran, the Malaysian who was hanged in Singapore for drug trafficking, also said the act was morbid.

“It shows the harshness of Singaporean authorities to treat a person like that. They (death-row inmates) are not dolls,” he told FMT.

He was asked to comment on a tweet by We Believe in Second Chances co-founder Kirsten Han who uploaded a picture of a smiling Prabagaran.

“This was taken of Prabagaran this week as part of the pre-execution prison photoshoot. Photos are then given to the family,” she wrote.

In a subsequent tweet, Han said that while the practice seemed morbid, she had heard that some relatives find it comforting to have photos of loved ones “out of prison garb”.

Human rights activist Michelle Yesudas said although a smiling photo might be some comfort to a grieving family, staging a pre-execution photoshoot is insensitive to the grief and anguish one has to endure when on death row.

“The death penalty and a pre-execution photo shoot are archaic, morbid and inhumane practices that have no place in the modern world,” she said.

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said it is unusual and “weird” for a country to have such a practice.

“It’s a bit unusual for me, but every country has its own jurisdiction,” said Paulsen.

Channel NewsAsia reported that Prabagaran was executed at Changi Prison on Friday morning after he was convicted in 2012 for being in possession of 22.24g of diamorphine, a pure form of heroin.

Authorities discovered the drug in his car at the Singaporean immigration checkpoint as he tried to enter the country.

Prabagaran said he was innocent, claiming that he did not own the car and was not aware of the drugs being in it.

Earlier this year, he turned to the Malaysian courts to compel the government to start legal proceedings against Singapore before an international tribunal for denying him a fair trial.

On March 24, Prabagaran failed to obtain leave at the Kuala Lumpur High Court to compel the Malaysian government to start proceedings against Singapore.

Earlier, Surendran said Singapore’s Court of Appeal had dismissed Prabagaran’s application to stay his execution pending his case in the Malaysian courts.

He told FMT the appeals court had ruled that Singapore is a sovereign nation and that it would not wait for the outcome of proceedings in Malaysia.

Source: Free Malaysia Today, July 15, 2017


Singapore’s Bizarre Pre-Execution Photoshoot


The unusual practice in Singapore of death-row inmates having their photos taken before they are sent to the gallows – some say it’s inhumane and morbid, some say it’s comforting to the family.

S Prabagaran, the Malaysian convicted of drug trafficking, was executed yesterday morning at Changi prison. The lawyer representing his family has called Singapore’s practice of having death-row inmates take part in a photoshoot “a day or two” before their execution “inhumane”.

He was commenting on a tweet by Singaporean journalist Kirsten Han who uploaded a picture of a smiling Prabagaran.

In a later tweet, she said that while the practice seemed morbid, she had heard that some relatives find it comforting to have photos of executed loved ones “out of prison garb”.

Human rights activist Michelle Yesudas said although a smiling photo might be some comfort to a grieving family, staging a pre-execution photoshoot is insensitive to the grief and anguish the inmate one has to endure when on death row.

The bizarre photoshoot practice has the death-row inmate posing in regular clothes and the photos will be given to the family as mementoes.

Source: The True Net, Aura Lee, July 15, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

What Indiana officials want to keep secret about executions

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

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

Texas prisons taking heat over aging execution drugs experts say could cause 'torturous' deaths

Texas executes Juan Castillo

Iraq court sentences Belgian jihadist to death for IS membership