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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…

Terror Convicts on Death Penalty Referred to Egypt Mufti

Egyptian flag
The Cairo criminal court referred to the grand mufti on Tuesday 4 detainees charged with forming a "terrorist cell."

The mufti will examine their case and issue his non-binding opinion on whether a death sentence against them should be upheld.

Sentences against 30 other members of the "terrorist cell" will be announced on February 19. The charges against them include forming an illegal group, violating public property and the possession of weapons and ammunition for terrorist purposes.

Separately, the Giza criminal court sentenced to various prison terms 262 suspects for security-related offenses over the "al-Nahda sit-in" of 2013.

17 people were sentenced to life in prison, 223 were given 15 years and another 22 accused were given 3 years.

The court acquitted 115 others accused in the case.

The court also ordered that those sentenced be fined a total of nearly 40 million Egyptian pounds ($2.27 million) for damaging public property.

The accused in the case were arrested while authorities were dispersing a rally held in the aftermath of the ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Their trial has taken up 3 years, while some other detainees are waiting appeals of their sentences.

Charges against them include murder, resisting authorities and possession of arms.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egypt's Interior Ministry announced that 8 terrorists were killed during a security raid in the al-Arish region.

Source: aawsat.com, January 10, 2018


Egypt court sentences 4 members of Giza terrorist cell to death in 2014 case


A Cairo criminal court issued a preliminary death sentence on Tuesday against 4 people convicted of forming a terrorist cell in Giza in a 2014 case.

The court, which has set a 19 February session to issue its final verdict, has referred the sentence to the Grand Mufti, the country's top religious authority, whose opinion is legally required in death penalty cases but is not binding.

The defendants were charged with forming a cell that aimed to carry out attacks on members of the judiciary, attacks on public and private property, and protesting without consent.

The February court session will include verdicts for all 30 defendants in the case, which will be subject to be appeal.

Last month, Egyptian authorities executed 19 people over 2 separate deadly terrorist attacks on military students in Kafr El-Sheikh and a military checkpoint in the restive North Sinai region, which has been a hotbed of terrorism since 2013.

Source: English Ahram Online, January 10, 2018


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

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