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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…

Iran: At least 21 executions in 1 week; 13 hanged collectively

Public hanging, Iran
Iranian regime sent 19 prisoners to the gallows in cities of Gohardasht, Urmia, Hamedan,Tabriz, Kermanshah and Ilam prisons. 8 of the executed were hanged collectively in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj on April 18th.

On the same day, Bahman Varmazyar, a young prisoner who was a sports coach, was executed in Hamadan Prison. A day before, a prisoner was executed in Tabriz's central prison.

On April 23, 9 prisoners were sent to the gallows. 5 of them were hanged collectively in Urmia prion, 3 prisoners in Keramanshah, and on prisoner in Ilam.

Unable to deal with the deadly crises, in particular, the increasing protests of the people fed up of injustice and repression, the religious tyranny ruling the country has increased the number of executions in different cities to intensify the atmosphere of intimidation in society.

Meanwhile, a 50-year-old prisoner Mohsen Parvas committed suicide and passed away on April 21 in protest at the harsh pressures imposed on him.

In yet another occasion, on April 22, a 31-year-old prisoner, Nasir Zoraghi, died at the Zahedan Central Prison following a stroke and denial of his medical treatment.

The Iranian Resistance calls on all the Iranian youths to protest against the brutal death penalty and harsh conditions in Iran's prisons, and to support the families of the executed. It also calls on all international human rights authorities to strongly condemn the executions in Iran and to condition dealing with the Iranian regime on improvement of the human rights situation, in particular the suspension of the death penalty.

Source: Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, April 25, 2018


Mass execution imminent in Rajaie Shahr Prison


Collective hanging, Iran
At least 20 death row prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement in Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj. There are concerns that their death sentence would be carried out on Wednesday April 25. Among the prisoners, an Afghan national identified as Amir Khalili was transferred from Qezel Hesar Prison while another prisoner identified as Amir Ahmadi was transferred from Khorin Prison in Varamin. The other prisoners have been identified as Javad Sohrabi, Iman Hosseini Moghadam, Ali Masoumi, Ahmad Sabet Ahmadi, Amrullah Azhdar, and Mohammad Reza Kharratha who were all held in Rajaie Shahr Prison.

An inmate identified as Reza Sheikh, 40, was hanged today in central prison of Zahedan, capital of Sistan and Baluchestan Province. He had been on death row since 9 years ago on charge of murder. The execution has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

Iran has sent at least 21 prisoners to the gallows during the past week in the cities of Karaj, Urmia, Hamedan,Tabriz, Kermanshah and Ilam. 8 of the executed were hanged collectively in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj on April 18th.

On the same day, Bahman Varmazyar, a young prisoner who was a sports coach, was executed in Hamadan Prison. A day before, a prisoner was executed in Tabriz's central prison.

On April 23, 9 prisoners were sent to the gallows. 5 of them were hanged collectively in Urmia prion, 3 prisoners in Keramanshah, and on prisoner in Ilam.

In yet another occasion, on April 22, a 31-year-old prisoner, Nasir Zoraghi, died at the Zahedan Central Prison following a stroke and denial of his medical treatment.

Source: Iran Human Rights Monitor, April 25, 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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