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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…

Mass protests against planned execution of activists continue in Bahrain

Bahrain
Mass protests by citizens of Bahrain continue to grow, as people take to the streets to protest against the regime of the Khalifa dynasty.

Local sources report heavy crackdowns on demonstrations all over the country, adding that people chanted slogans which called for an end to the Khalifa family's rule over the country. 

Bahraini troops used teargas to suppress a demonstration by women in the village of Diraz on Monday.

Demonstrations have been growing steadily since 6 civilians were sentenced to the death penalty on Monday. 

The verdict had been handed down by a military court, after a decree by Bahraini absolute monarch Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ruled that civilian protesters should henceforth be tried under military law.

Bahrain's top military court sentenced the 6 individuals to death on Monday after convicting them over charges including plotting to assassinate the chief of the armed forces of the Gulf state, Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa. 

The court also sentenced seven other people to 7-year jail terms and deprived them of their citizenship, while 5 men were acquitted.

Prior to Monday's trial, there had never once been any official mention of any sort of plot against the life of the Field Marshall, and the Bahrain News Agency refused to give any further details of when or where the plan was alleged to have taken place.

Source: almasdarnews.com, December 31, 2017


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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