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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…

Myanmar: Death sought for child rapists

Madaya Township locals stage a protest against rapists.
More than a thousand residents of Madaya township in Mandalay joined a protest march on February 17 demanding the death penalty for child rape.

The protest followed the rape and murder of a 2-1/2-year-old child last week in Madaya in which a man has been charged.

The protesters, numbering some 1500, marched from Dingar Creek at the town entrance to Mogoke road and onto a public forum shouting slogans, demanding a mandatory death penalty for child rapists. At the same time they sought to bring attention to the rising incidence of rape in the country.  

“We are calling for more stringent penalties for criminals who rape children to prevent such cases from recurring. Our main objective is to eradicate child rape and punish offenders with the death penalty,” one protest leader, Daw Myint Myint Zaw, said.

The protesters signed a petition that they would submit to parliament.

“We as parents are shocked and frightened every time we hear such news, even if the victim is somebody else’s child. Children cannot protect themselves,’’ she said.

“The incidence of child rape is increasing across the nation. Starting with our town, we are going to collect signatures from parents elsewhere and submit it to the Pyithu Hluttaw.

‘‘We will do everything within our means to make sure Phyo Htet Aung is sentenced to death,” said Ko Than Lwin, another protester.

Phyo Htet Aung is charged with the rape and murder of the child in Madaya township on February 13.

“My daughter was killed brutally. I want justice. I don’t want other parents to suffer like us,” said U Hlaing Zin Myint, father of the victim.

Source: Myanmar Times, Kyaw Ko Ko, February 19, 2018


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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