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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…

India: Man sentenced to death over rape, murder of 6-year-old girl

Gallows
'We have to collectively save our society from criminality'

A court here sentenced a convict to death for raping and murdering a minor girl at Mehjoor Nagar area here in 2005.

In the judgment, 2nd additional sessions Judge Srinagar, Tahir Khurshid Raina, holding that it as a rarest of rare cases, awarded the death penalty to convict Farooq Ahmad Pinzoo of Mehjoor Nagar for raping and murdering the girl.

"A little doll (victim) of just 6 years of age, who was yet to bloom and add to the beauty of the world was crushed to death in the most horrendous and barbaric manner in 2005 by the convict. After doing this highly detestable act of extreme depravity, convict wrapped her body in a sack and threw it in a trench to conceal it from the eyes of the people around," the court said.

"When all members of locality were on search, he was a restless mute spectator of this unfortunate incident. This incident sent a shockwave in the entire area and every one came out to search her and yearn and prayed for her safe recovery. Finally, on 5th day of her missing, her body was recovered from the trench in a sack," the court said.

"The crime falls in the category of "rarest of the rare" which entails death penalty."

The court added that thousands of people assembled on the spot to see this horrible incident. "When people saw her body, there was a condemnation around and an outcry to nab the culprit soon. Public discontentment was so huge that police has to install a special camp there and after a month's they succeeded in nabbing the culprit who was none else but the resident of same locality whom the deceased of tender age would have taken with respect and custodian of her life," the court said.

"Convict is awarded capital punishment. He shall be hanged till death," the court said while referring various Supreme Court judgments, terming the case as rarest of rare cases.

Who would Gandhi execute?
After hearing additional public prosecutor advocate Mujeeb Andrabi and defence counsel on the quantum of punishment, the court said "fact remains, punishment is the way in which society expresses its condemnation for wrong doing and in order to maintain respect for law, it is essential that the punishment inflicted for grave crimes should adequately reflect the revulsion felt by the great majority of citizens for them."

Earlier, advocate Mujeeb Andrabi pleaded that to the court for award of death penalty to the accused for commission of horrendous crime with a child of tender age. He argued that keeping in view the entire complexion of the case, it falls in the category of "rarest of the rare" which entails death penalty.

"Let us not wait for angels to come from the sky to reform our society. We all have to collectively rise to the occasion and move in tandem to save our society from criminality and criminals and obnoxious elements to make it a habitat of civilized people with high morals, values and probity as their hallmark. This will only elevate our status in the community of nations," the court said while referring to the case.

Source: greaterkashmir.com, DEcember 30, 2017


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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