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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…

Botswana has no intention to abolish death penalty – Khama

Botswana flag
Botswana has no intention to abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on its implementation, President Ian Khama said on Tuesday.President Ian Khama told heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Gaborone that his government is unfazed by international calls to abolish the death penalty.

Noting that the matter has aroused interest in certain quarters, Khama said Botswana maintains the position that the death penalty is a criminal justice issue and its application on the most serious crimes is the sovereign right of individual States.

“It is important to note that death penalty is not imposed arbitrarily in Botswana. In short, the application of the death penalty follows a thorough and exhaustive legal process that meets the basic standards of a fair trial, and the penalty is imposed for the most serious crimes as understood under international law,” Khama said.

He added: “In this regard, as Government, we do not intend to either abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on its application.”

Human rights activists and the European Union have pleaded with Botswana to impose a moratorium on death penalty and hold a national referendum to establish if it was in favour of the practice.

Source: APA, March 14, 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