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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…

Indonesian duo in terror plot face death penalty

Anggi Indah Kusuma appearing in a West Jakarta district court in March 2018.
Wife had been deported from Hong Kong last year after she pledged allegiance to ISIS

A former Indonesian migrant worker who was deported from Hong Kong last year after she posted a Facebook video of her pledging allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is now facing the death sentence along with her newly wed husband for terror-related offences at home.

Both are facing charges in connection with planning terror attacks and making explosives in a rented house in Bandung.

"Anggi Indah Kusuma alias Khanza Syafiyah al-Fuqron has committed evil conspiracy, consciously tried to or assisted (others) to carry out terror acts. She has made and stored explosives with the intention to launch terror acts," stated court documents seen by The Straits Times.

Anggi, 24, returned to Indonesia in March last year and was immediately interrogated by police. She was subsequently sent to a Social Affairs Ministry rehabilitation centre before being allowed to go home to her parents in Klaten, Central Java.

But in May last year, Anggi fled home and married another migrant worker, Adilatul Rahman alias Rahman Factory, who had returned home from Malaysia. Her parents disapproved of the marriage.

Anggi was introduced to Rahman on Facebook while she was in Hong Kong and, after their marriage, the couple moved to Bandung, West Java. Less than three months after their wedding, on Aug 15 last year, Anggi and Rahman were nabbed during simultaneous raids by Densus 88, the elite counter-terrorism unit, on three places in Bandung. Three of their accomplices were also picked up.

All those arrested were allegedly members of a terror cell manufacturing homemade chemical bombs to be used to attack the presidential palace in Jakarta, the police mobile brigade squad headquarters outside Jakarta and state-owned weapons manufacturer PT Pindad.

Court documents said that in early August, Rahman and an accomplice, Young Farmer alias Abu Nakir Shaab, went to a chemical store in Bandung to procure bomb-making materials but could not get any because the store required identification from the buyers, who also had to certify their use.

The men then resorted to a popular local online marketplace, procured the materials and had them delivered on Aug 11 to the rented house in Bandung.

The couple as well as their accomplices then began the process of making a bomb using a manual provided by Young Farmer, whose real name has not been established yet.

The court was told that while making the bomb, everyone was shocked by thick smoke and a strong odour in a room in Rahman's house. Anggi, who was then pregnant, was nauseous. The decision was then taken to move the process to Young Farmer's house, also in Bandung.

Counter-terrorism officials said Anggi was radicalised while in Hong Kong after she befriended two men, Musa Wisesa and Abu Alqosam al-Ajeneseh, who indoctrinated her on Islamic syariah law and the ISIS caliphate.

The court documents did not provide further details about the two men but said that not long after Anggi befriended them, she pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi in a Hong Kong park. A fellow Indonesian videotaped her reading a text provided by Abu Alqosam, and Anggi then uploaded the footage to her Facebook account. She also uploaded a write-up, professing her radical ideology.

Anggi was a member of several radical chat groups on Telegram.

Source: The Straits TimesWahyudi Soeriaatmadja, March 13, 2018


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