FEATURED POST

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

Image
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: Protests set vs CA ruling to stop Mary Jane Veloso's deposition

Mary Jane Veloso
GENERAL NATIVIDAD, Nueva Ecija — The family of convicted drug trafficker Mary Jane Veloso said protests may be staged next week following a Court of Appeals (CA) ruling that prevented Mary Jane’s testimony from being used in the human trafficking trial of her recruiters.

Veloso, who would be celebrating her 33rd birthday on Jan. 10, was convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia but her execution was postponed to allow her to participate in the trial of Maria Cristina Sergio and Julius Lacanilao, who recruited Mary Jane.

From the horse’s mouth


The CA, however, barred a Nueva Ecija judge from securing Mary Jane’s deposition at her jail cell in Indonesia, citing the rules on court testimony.

“Our hopes were dashed that Mary Jane would be able to tell the true story and prove that she was also a victim of drug syndicates,” Mary Jane’s mother, Celia, said on Saturday.

She said the family would continue to fight for her. They were told that protest actions would be mobilized by militant groups like Migrante on Mary Jane’s birthday.

She said she had been assured that other legal remedies were being sought by the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, which was representing her family in the case against Sergio and Lacanilao.

According to her, the CA decision made her fearful for the fate of her daughter, who, she said, was relying on the outcome of the human trafficking trial to redeem her and possibly set her free.

A court in Indonesia sentenced Mary Jane to death for smuggling 2.6 kilograms of heroin into that country in 2010, but President Joko Widodo suspended her execution in 2015 to allow her to take part in the Sergio and Lacanilao trial.

Indonesia trip


In 2016, Judge Anarica Castillo-Reyes, of Regional Trial Court Branch 88 in Sto. Domingo town in Nueva Ecija, directed the prosecution lawyers to go to Indonesia and secure Mary Jane’s testimony by taking her deposition (or written account) in the presence of lawyers from the Philippine Public Attorney’s Office, which was representing Sergio and Lacanilao.

But Sergio and Lacanilao challenged Reyes’ decision in the appellate court, which restrained the Nueva Ecija court last year from proceeding with the deposition.

The two argued that Reyes’ decision violated their right to directly confront their accuser. The CA’s Dec. 15 ruling permanently stopped Reyes from enforcing her order.

Mary Jane a victim


The next hearing was scheduled on Jan. 25 when more demonstrations may be held, according to the Veloso family here.

“Mary Jane is the only one who knows the truth about what happened to her, so when we heard about the CA ruling we wondered and asked, ‘Why is our government this way?’” Celia said.

She added: “I am appealing to President Duterte to find out the truth to confirm that Mary Jane was a victim. We know he abhors drugs but our daughter was a victim and her case should not be abandoned,” she said.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Armand Galang, January 07, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Convicted killer from infamous “Texas 7” prison escape gets execution date

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

Texas man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Amnesty International Once Again Highlights Shocking Justice System in Iran

Maria Exposto: Can she avoid execution?

Ohio man with execution set for July 18 blames killing on ‘homosexual panic’