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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: Prisoner Hanged at Bandar Abbas Prison

Public execution Iran
A prisoner was hanged at the southern city of Bandar Abbas Central Prison on murder charges.

According to a close source, on the morning of Tuesday, April 24, a prisoner was executed at Bandar Abbas Central Prison. 

The prisoner, identified as Mohammad Jafar Shirzad, 41 from Khorramabad, was sentenced to death on murder charges. 

A close source told Iran Human Rights, "Mohammad Jafar Shirzad committed murder at his workplace in February 2015, and he failed to win the consent of the plaintiffs."

The execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

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.

According to statistical department of Iran Human Rights (IHR), at least 19 prisoners were executed in Iran last week. 

IHR had earlier warned against a new wave of executions in Iran following the nationwide uprising.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 26, 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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