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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…

Egypt hangs 4 convicted of deadly 2014 bomb attack

Noose
Egypt has hanged 4 men convicted by a military court of killing 3 military students in a bombing in 2014, security sources said on Tuesday.

It was the 2nd reported multiple execution of convicted Islamist militants in a week. 

A week ago Egypt hanged 15 men accused of deadly attacks in the Sinai peninsula, believed to be the largest number of people executed in a single day since President Abdel Fateh al-Sisi took power.

The latest executions were carried out in the Borg al-Arab prison, west of the coastal city of Alexandria, after the military appeals court rejected appeals by the defendants, the sources said.

The 4 were hanged for their role in a bombing in the Nile Delta town of Kafr al-Sheikh that took place during violence that followed the ouster of President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi, then the military chief, removed Mursi in mid-2013 after mass protests against Mursi's rule.

The court also sentenced 3 others in absentia to death, and jailed 8 others, including Salah al-Feki, head of the Muslim Brotherhood's administrative office in Kafr al-Sheikh.

Authorities banned the Brotherhood and declared it a terrorist organization after Mursi was deposed, arresting thousands of its members and supporters.

Since then, Egypt has faced a growing insurgency from Islamic State fighters in the Sinai Peninsula.

Source: Reuters, January 2, 2018


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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning