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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 executions

Medieval and barbaric: Public hanging in Iran
Iran Human rights (Dec 20 2017): At least eight prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj mostly on murder charges.

According to a close source, on the morning of Wednesday December 20, at least eight prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr Central Prison. 

The prisoners, mostly charged with murder, were transferred to solitary confinement from different wards of the prison in a group of 10 on Monday December 18.

Four of the executed prisoners were identified as: Mostafa Chardouli from ward 2, Amir Abbas Ardestani from ward 3, Hamid Abdollahi from ward 6 (youth ward), and Nima Esma’ilian from ward 4.

“Hamid was 24 and had been in prison for murder since he was 19,” said a close source to Iran Human Rights (IHR) about Hamid Abdollahi.

Mohammad Qobad from ward 10 and Ali Ma’sumi from ward 7 were returned to their cells by either asking for time or winning the consent of the plaintiffs.

Moreover, on Saturday December 16, four other prisoners from ward 5 of this prison were transferred to solitary confinement to be executed in public. 

The prisoners were sentenced to death on the charge of armed robbery. They were identified as Moslem Mohammadi, Mohsen Kamali, and Abolfazl. According to the latest reports, the prisoners are still in solitary confinement.

The execution of the eight prisoners has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

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.

Prisoner executed at Zahedan Central Prison on murder charges


According to HRANA News Agency, on the morning of Wednesday December 20, a prisoner was executed at Zahedan Central Prison. 

The identity of the prisoner, who was charged with murder, was Yaser Salar Rashid, 23. He had been in prison for five years.

“Yaser was transferred to solitary confinement 20 days ago as a punishment because he got into a fight with a social worker and broke his computer,” said a close source.

The execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the state-run media so far.


Prisoner executed at Zanjan Central Prison on murder charges


According to a close source, on the morning of Tuesday December 19, a prisoner was hanged at Zanjan Central Prison. 

The prisoner, identified as Yasin Abedi from Qazvin, was charged with murder.

“Yasin worked with a derrick before he went to prison. One day he got into a fight with a man over financial issues and murdered him,” said a close source to Iran Human Rights (IHR).

Yasin Abedi had been in Zanjan Central Prison since 2011. Iran Human Rights had previously warned that he might get executed.

The execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

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. 

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 21, 2017


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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