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

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…

Killer of Saudi woman, daughter awaiting execution in Egypt

Abdul Tawab
JEDDAH — A criminal court of Al-Minya in southern Egypt has sent the papers of an Egyptian citizen who was sentenced to death for murdering a Saudi woman and her daughter two years ago to the country’s grand mufti for approval to carry out the sentence.

Under the Egyptian criminal law, prior approval from the grand mufti is required to implement the death sentence.

The Saudi woman, a divorcee, and her daughter, lived in Kuwait. Their killer, identified as Abdul Tawab, had worked for them as a private driver in Kuwait.

When the woman came to Cairo with her daughter with the intention of buying an apartment, Abdul Tawab met them and offered to help them while his real intention was to rob them of the millions of Egyptian pounds they had in possession.

Abdul Tawab had sought the help of some of his relatives to kill the women and throw their bodies in a deserted well.

Soon after the crime, signs of wealth began to appear on Abdul Tawab. He bought a farm and a villa for 500,000 Egyptian pounds and distributed some of the money among his accomplices, who were not happy about their shares.

One of the disgruntled relatives later informed the police about the crime.

During interrogation, Abdul Tawab admitted to his crime and said he had convinced the woman to go with him to his village to buy an agricultural land that belonged to him.

He told the police that the women went with him to his village and were enthusiastic to compete the deal but he killed them both and threw their bodies in an abandoned well.

He said while negotiating the deal, the daughter left her mother with Abdul Tawab some of his relatives and went into her room to take rest.

Abdul Tawab said when the daughter became suspicious about the long absence of her mother, he told her that she was still reviewing the farm.

The police said the daughter became skeptical and sent text messages to a number of her friends in Kuwait telling them that she was worried about the safety of her mother.

The police said these messages helped them reach the killer, who admitted to his crime and showed them where he had dumped the bodies.

The killer said when the daughter started asking questions about her mother, he took out his knife and stabbed her four times before hitting her with an iron rod on her head ending her life.

He said he dumped her body with that of her mother in the well and went on with his normal life.

Abdul Tawab said he used the help of his wife to dump the bodies in the well. He painted the walls of the room where he killed the daughter to hide the stains of blood.

The crime took place in 2016. Neither the Saudi woman nor her daughter was identified except that they were Saudi citizens living in Kuwait.

Source: Saudi Gazette, January 7, 2018

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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