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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…

Mennonite woman agrees to testify in death penalty case

Greta Lindecrantz
According to Greta Lindecrantz's attorney, Robert Ray's defense team believes that testifying for the prosecution could actually save Ray's life.

A Mennonite woman who refused to testify in a death penalty case on the grounds that capital punishment violated her religious beliefs has reversed course, and has now agreed to take the stand.

According to a release from Greta Lindecrantz’s attorney, Mari Newman, the criminal defense investigator now feels that her beliefs compel her to testify. 

Newman says this comes after Lindecrantz learned that Robert Ray’s current legal team believes that not obtaining her testimony would actually hurt Ray’s chances of avoiding the death penalty.

Lindecrantz was jailed on February 26 because she declined to testify for the prosecution seeking to uphold the death sentence of Robert Ray, who was convicted of two murders in 2009. 

Ray’s current defense team is trying to argue that the defense in his original trial was ineffective. Lindecrantz was an investigator for the defense in that trial.

Newman says Lindecrantz’s Notice of Intent to Testify was filed Saturday.

Source: 9News.com, March 10, 2018


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