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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: Two Prisoners Hanged In Public

Watching a public in Iran
Iran Human Rights (Dec 13 2017): Two prisoners were hanged in public in Khorasgan Square in Isfahan on the charge of murdering a police officer.

According to a report by the state-run Jam News, on the morning of Wednesday December 13, two prisoners were hanged in public in Khorasegan Square in Isfahan. 

The two prisoners were arrested and sentenced to death on the charge of murdering a police officer in Nain on April 9, 2016.

One of them, identified as Abdolmajid Hassanzehi, was transferred to solitary confinement of Isfahan Central Prison on Monday December 11.

The news was previously published by Iran Human Rights (IHR).

The report also mentioned that “police officers arrested five of the Death Dealers and found 527 kilograms of drugs.”


“Five people, trafficking 50 kilograms of opium, get into a fight with police officers in Nain and one of the officers, named Qazavi, gets killed. Abdolmajid was not armed but the other defendants claimed otherwise and that’s why he was sentenced to death,” said a close source to Iran Human Rights (IHR).

The other prisoner, who was executed, has not been identified yet.




Isfahan execution: Two inmates were publicly executed on December 13, 2017
in Isfahan Province, according to the state-run Rokna news agency.


According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty 33 people have been executed in public in front of large crowds including children in 2016. 

Public executions have been strongly criticized by Iranian human rights activists and sociologists.

Two inmates publicly executed


Two inmates were publicly executed today, December 13, 2017 in Isfahan Province, according to the state-run Rokna news agency.

They were convicted over killing a SSF agent in April 2016 during a clash in Esfahan’s Nain City.

In another developement on December 12, 2017, a prisoner identified as Ebrahim Rezaii was excuted in Central Prison of Tabriz, northwest of Iran.

He was also found guilty of murder.

According to statistics registered by Iran Human Rights Monitor, the Iranian authorities executed 520 people since the beginning of 2017.

115 of the executions during the 11 months were made public by the state media and 28 were carried out in public. 

4 of those executed were under the age of 18 at the time of arrest, 10 were women and 2 were political prisoners.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Iran Human Rights Monitor, December 14, 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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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning