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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…

Death penalty for alleged Mossad spies sentenced in Algeria

Algeria flag
Leader of the squad was sentenced to the death penalty, other six members were given 10 year jail sentence

Seven individuals accused of spying on behalf of the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, were sentenced to imprisonment and death on Monday by a criminal court in Algeria, local media reported on Tuesday.

The leader of the squad, a man of Lebanese descent with Liberian citizenship, was charged with seeking “to harm the security of Algeria” and was given the death penalty.

The other six members of group, who were said to be of African origin, were given ten year jail sentences and each fined 20 million Algerian dinar.

According to Jerusalem Post citing local Algerian media, they were charged with espionage “possession and dissemination of documents that glorified terrorism,” and undermining state security.

The defendants reportedly pleaded not guilty to their charges.

Algeria's Interior Minister Noureddine Bedoui said the exposure of the "international spy ring" working for Israel was clear proof that the Mossad and other foreign entities were trying to undermine the country's security and stability, Ynet reported.

In January 2016, security services in Algeria announced they had exposed the aforementioned spy network and subsequently arrested at least 10 agents.

The Algerian incident follows on from gunning down of a Palestinian and Hamas-affiliated engineer, Dr Fadi Mohammad al-Batash, 35, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur last week. 

Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad terrorist group have claimed it to be an assassination carried out by the Mossad.

Israel has dismissed claims that the country's spy agency was behind Batash's killing, suggesting instead that his killing was a "settling of accounts" between sparring terrorist factions.

Hamas has previously accused the Mossad of assassinating another one of its drone experts -- Mohamed Zouari -- in Tunisia in 2016.

The Mossad is believed to have assassinated Palestinian militants and scientists in the past, but rarely confirms such operations.

Back in November of last year, Lebanese authorities arrested and raided the home of prominent writer and actor Ziad Itani on charges of “collaborating and communicating with the Israeli enemy.”

He was detained and eventually confessed to having been “tasked to monitor a group of high-level political figures” and their associates.

However, in February of this year, he was released as authorities claimed the the “confession” was extracted under duress and that the security apparatus had received the wrong information.

Muslim countries have in the past accused its locals and foreigners of acting as agents on behalf of the Jewish State.

Source: i24NEWS, April 25, 2018


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