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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…

Mary Jane Veloso's fate up to Indonesia

Mary Jane Veloso
Malacanang has said that the fate of convicted Filipino drug mule Mary Jane Veloso is in the hands of the Indonesian government following her request to President Duterte to let her testify against her recruiters on her 33rd birth anniversary last Jan. 10.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in a Palace press briefing, said the President's hands are tied since she is detained in a foreign country.

"I don't understand what exactly the President can do in this regard. She is detained in foreign soil because of breach Indonesian penal laws," Roque said.

"She continues to be alive despite being meted the death penalty. But there is such a thing as 'sovereignty,' and the matter is completely in the hands of the Indonesian government," he added.

Roque said that the Indonesian government has been showing clemency since her death was put off.

"I think the Indonesia government, by not carrying out the punishment of death penalty, has shown clemency on a daily basis," he said.

Veloso is on death row and was supposed to be executed by firing squad after smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin into Indonesia in 2010. She denied having knowledge about the contraband.

Source: tempo.com.ph, January 11, 2018


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