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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…

Philippines: Pacquiao to resume death penalty hearing this month

Senator Manny Pacquiao
The Senate will resume this month its hearings on the revival of the death penalty through a subcommittee to be headed by Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said on Monday.

Pimentel made it clear that he made the decision not because House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had criticized the upper chamber for not acting on the death penalty proposal.

He said he had asked Pacquiao, an advocate of the death penalty, to resume the hearings as early as October last year.

Pimentel explained that the death penalty hearings were being handled by the Senate justice committee, headed by Sen. Richard Gordon, who in turn designated Pacquiao to lead the subcommittee.

But Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said the revival of the death penalty measure was not part of the common legislative agenda.

“I am not aware of any change in the priority list that we have agreed with the House,” Drilon said. 

Source: inquirer.net, Christine O. Avendaño, January 9, 2018


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