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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…

Eight Prisoners Including Two Afghans Executed in Iran

Execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (Apr 19, 2018): Eight prisoners most of whom were charged with murder were secretly executed at Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to a close source, on the morning of Wednesday, April 18, eight prisoners most of whom were charged with murder were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison.

One of the prisoners were identified as Akbar Eftekhari from ward 6, who had been in prison for 14 years on murder charges. 

Five other prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement from different wards of the same prison.

The two other prisoners were Afghans transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison from Ghezel Hesar Prison in order to be executed.

An informed source told IHR, “Unusually strict security measures were taken for these executions to keep them secret.”

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 240 of the 517 execution sentences in 2017 were implemented due to murder charges.

There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing a death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 21, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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