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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…

Worried about bad PR, Indonesia wants to keep its unlawful canings a secret

Rather than outlaw canings altogether the government will make them private to not put off foreign investors

After an international outcry over the public caning of two gay men in Aceh, the province will make future canings private.


Aceh is the only Indonesian province which is allowed to enforce Islamic Sharia by-laws. Homosexuality in the rest of Indonesia is not illegal.

Canings attract negative international attention and could affect foreign investment


Irwandi Yusuf is Aceh’s new governor has vowed to put an end it public floggings. He wants to move the punishment behind closed doors to avoid more bad PR for Aceh.

On Tuesday, Irwandi and his Vice-Governor Nova Iriansyah met with Indonesian President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo.

Jokowi was concerned the canings were attracting negative international attention and could affect foreign investment in Indonesia.

‘There’s the real perception and the one from outside the country, which is is not very good. Because of that, the President asked how the government of Aceh could explain that it was not like how it was being perceived,’ Nova told Okezone.

Rather than ban the canings which violate international law, Aceh will take them out of the public eye. Canings will be carried out behind closed doors.

End caning now


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for an end to caning in Aceh.

‘But now Irwandi, recently elected governor for a second time, seems to be trying to gloss over a barbaric violation of basic rights,’ said Kyle Knight, HRW’s researcher, LGBT Rights Program.

‘The government should be abolishing this brutal punishment and the abusive laws that allow it, not whitewashing flogging to mollify squeamish investors.

‘He should make it clear to Irwandi that hiding abuses is not the same as ending them, and that the moral outrage over public floggings was not a one-time reaction. The world is watching.’






Source: Gay Star News, Shannon Powers, July 13, 2017

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