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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…

Donald Trump wants every drug dealer in the US executed: report

Donald Trump
The US President reportedly wants to take a tough line with drug dealers in America, taking inspiration from countries like Singapore to execute traffickers

The US President, 71, is said to have taken inspiration from countries such as Singapore, where the death penalty is mandatory for drug trafficking.

The Republican leader is reported to have said: "When I ask the prime minister of Singapore do they have a drug problem [the prime minister replies,] ‘No. Death penalty,’' according to Axios.

Current regulations in Singapore means anyone caught with a high volume of drugs is automatically presumed to be trafficking.

The death penalty may be applied if someone is caught with more than 15 grams of heroine, 30 grams of cocaine, 500 grams of cannabis, and 1,200 grams of opium among other drugs and amounts.

The president reportedly attributes the drug law - one of the toughest in the world - with low drug use in Singapore.

According to five different sources, Mr Trump is passionate about the issue, often saying drug dealers are as bad as serial killers and should all be punished with death.

One senior administration official told the site: “He often jokes about killing drug dealers... He’ll say, 'You know the Chinese and Filipinos don’t have a drug problem. They just kill them.’”

Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines has also taken a strong line in his war against drugs, with more than 12,000 people killed in drug-related operations since he took office in 2016, according to Human Rights Watch.

Mr Trump reportedly thinks a soft approach to drug offences will “never” work and tells those close to him that the government has to teach children that they will die if they take drugs and make drug dealers fear for their lives.

Although he's admitted that passing legislation that extends the death penalty to drug dealing offences is unlikely, he would "love to have a law to execute all drug dealers here in America."

When asked to confirm the president wants to execute drug dealers, Kellyanne Conway, who leads his administration's anti-drug efforts, said Trump only wants to execute “high-volume dealers who are killing thousands of people.”

According to Ms Conway, Trump's point is that many states execute criminals for killing just one person while dealers can cause mass casualties without equally harsh punishment.

Source: The Sun, February 26, 2018


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

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