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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…

18 Executions Across Iran as MEPs Visited Tehran

Public hanging in Iran (file photo)
Parliamentary visits to Tehran encourage mullahs to continue executions

Iranian regime executed 18 prisoners from the 22nd to the 29th of November 2017. 10 of these hangings were carried out in Gohardasht Prison of Karaj, west of Tehran, including the mass execution of 9 prisoners on Wednesday, November 29th. 

6 prisoners were executed in Tabriz Central Prison on November 22nd and 26th. 

2 prisoners were hanged in the prisons of Babol (northern Iran) and Qaen (eastern Iran) on November 28th.

Continuous executions by the mullahs' regime, coinciding with a visit by the 'European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Iran' to Tehran, proves the fact that moderation is nothing but an illusion and deception in the religious fascism ruling Iran, which is unable to confront increasing protest movements across the country, cannot afford to stop executions, torture and lashing for even a few days.

The Iranian people, no longer willing to tolerate this regime, abhor any aid provided to the repressive and corrupt mullahs' regime. They also condemn despicable economic deals with a regime that plunders this nation and spills their blood.

Visits by foreign delegations to Iran under any excuse and/or pretext only encourage the criminal mullahs to continue and expand their crackdown, executions and harsh security measures. Any relations with this regime must hinge on improving Iran's human rights situation, especially halting all executions.

Source: Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, December 2, 2017


Inmate Executed in Northern Iran


A prisoner was hanged at Amol Prison on murder charges.

YJC news agency reported the execution of a prisoner in Amol Prison on Tuesday November 28. The prisoner, identified as M. A., was sentenced to death on murder charges.

The Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Mazandaran Province, Asadollah Ja'fari, stated that the defendant was sentenced to death on the charge of murdering a man named M.A.

The report, published by the state-run media, did not mention the exact date of the execution, however, it seems that the execution of the prisoner was implemented on Tuesday.

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 142 of the 530 execution sentences in 2016 were implemented due to murder charges. There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.

Suicide on the Death Row


A prisoner hanged himself in ward 1 of Rajai Shahr Prison on November 28. Unfair sentences, poor prison condition, and harsh treatment are believed to be the main causes of the high suicide rate among prisoners.

According to a close source, a prisoner hanged himself to death in ward 1 of Rajai Shahr Prison on Tuesday November 28. The prisoner, identified as Mohammad Lor, 31, had been in prison for 5 years on the charges as theft and quarrel.

"We don't know why Mohammad was transferred to ward 1, where death row prisoners and those with serious offences are held. He always said that if he could raise 20 million Tomans (about 4850 dollars) he would be released in a month," said one of his friends to Iran Human Rights (IHR).

The prisoner added, "I've thought about committing suicide several times. It's because of poor prison conditions and unfair sentences that courts issue. The demeaning behavior of prison guards also worsens the situation. A few months ago, a prisoner tried to kill himself by taking a pill after he was beaten and belittled by the prison guards. Fortunately, he was taken to the clinic immediately and was saved."

There are no statistics indicating the exact suicide rate in Rajai Shahr Prison, but according to the prisoner IHR interviewed "there are suicide attempts almost everyday, but most of them are saved by their cellmates. Nevertheless, every year, 10 to 20 prisoners die in this prison by committing suicide."

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 2, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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