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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…

Trump calls for death penalty for anyone who kills a police officer

Donald Trump
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is calling for the death penalty for anyone convicted of killing a police officer.

Trump, while speaking at the FBI National Academy in Virginia on Friday, pledged to support law enforcement officers and condemned those who attack them.

During the presidential campaign, Trump pledged to sign an executive order as president that would demand capital punishment for cop killers.

He has yet to do so.

The president was warmly received by the crowd of local law enforcement officers who cheered his calls for a crackdown on gangs and an end to chain migration.

The president painted a dark picture of a nation under siege by crime, at one moment wondering aloud “What the hell is going on in Chicago?”

The crowd laughed.

In an April speech to law enforcement officials, Trump was dismissive of officers who sought to protect suspects’ heads while putting them in police squad cars.

“You can take the hand off,” the president said to cheers.

Critics, including some police chiefs across the country, pushed back on the comments, which they saw as encouraging police brutality.

Source: PBS, December 15, 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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