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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…

China: Jurors to attend death penalty cases

Sentenced to death and immediately taken off in open truck for execution.
Chinese jurors are expected to participate in hearing cases in which defendants may face a death penalty, a draft law said on Wednesday.

The draft law on people's jurors was submitted to the bimonthly session of the country's top legislature, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, for the 2nd reading. 

It was first discussed among the legislators last year.

Compared to the first version that stated criminal cases where defendants were likely to be sentenced to over 10 years in prison or life imprisonment, the latest one has added the death penalty, showing the nation's cautious attitude to the death sentence as well as ensuring the public participant in case hearings.

The latest draft also said some people could not become jurors, such as defaulters, arbitrators, lawyers whose license are revoked and those with serious violations.

Meanwhile, it stipulates that citizens aged 28 years old or above and who have received high school education or above can be selected randomly as jurors, but a certain proportion should be chosen based on personal applications and recommendations by entities.

In addition, the jurors will be selected for a term of 5 years and normally will not get a 2nd term.

Source:  china.org.cn, April 25, 2018


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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