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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: Continuing Executions, Even on the International Human Rights Day

Watching a public hanging in Tehran (file photo)
11 executions in four days

Last week coinciding with International Human Rights day, the cycle of lashings, torture and executions continued in Iran under the religious fascism, taking more victims.

From December 11 to 14, Iran witnessed 11 executions in the cities of Sari, Kermanshah, Ardebil, Isfahan, Khuy and Shiraz. These included three public hangings. 

In this period at least 14 inmates of Karaj prison, west of Tehran, were sentenced to death.

On December 11, five prisoners were mass executed in Diesel Abad prison of Kermanshah, and a prisoner was hanged in Sari prison - Northern Iran.

Aimed at raising the atmosphere of fear across the country, the regime publicly hanged two inmates accused of killing Asghar Ghezavati, a member of Iran regime’s police force. 

These executions were carried out in the city of Isfahan on December 13..

One of the individuals, Abdul-Majeed Hassan Zehi, was hanged without any prior information of the timing of his execution. 

Two days before his hanging he was suddenly transferred to solitary confinement.

This criminal measure sparked anger among the public.

Public hanging in Tehran (file photo)On December 14 an inmate in the city of Khuy was hanged in public. Another inmate was hanged on the same day in the city of Shiraz.

The relentless continuation of ruthless hangings are aimed at intensifying a climate of fear and preventing social unrest. 

On December 10 Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Yazdi, commander of the so-called Mohammad Rasulollah Division, missioned to maintain security in Tehran, warned of a social earthquake.

Mahmoud Sadeghi, a member of Iran’s parliament, expressed concern of “super challenges” that await this regime.

The Iranian Resistance calls on the entire Iranian populace, especially the youth, to protest these ruthless punishments and express their solidarity with the victims’ families. 

The international community should hinge its trade and agreements with this regime on the immediate halt of executions and torture.

Source: NCRI, December 18, 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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