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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…

Iraq: French female Daesh member escapes death penalty, given life in jail

Djamila Boutoutaou
Two Russian women, both holding children in their arms, were also sentenced to life in prison

Baghdad: Iraq on Tuesday sentenced a French woman to life in prison for belonging to Daesh, the latest in a series of court rulings since the country’s defeat of Daesh.

Djamila Boutoutaou, a 29-year-old of Algerian origin, told a Baghdad court that she had left France with her husband, a rapper.

She said she thought they were going on holiday but “when I arrived in Turkey I discovered that my husband was a terrorist”.

She said she was forced by her husband to join Daesh and live in the “caliphate” that Daesh proclaimed in 2014 straddling Syria and Iraq.

Her husband was killed near the former Daesh stronghold of Mosul, northern Iraq, and her son died in bombardment, Boutoutaou said.

Two Russian women, both holding children in their arms, were also sentenced to life in prison at the same hearing.

Iraq declared victory in December against Daesh, which at one point controlled a third of the country.

The Iraqi anti-terrorism law empowers courts to convict people who are believed to have helped Daesh even if they are not accused of violence.

In January, an Iraqi court condemned a German woman to death after finding her guilty of belonging to Daesh.

A court the following month sentenced another French woman to seven months in jail for entering Iraq illegally but ordered her release on time already served.

Several dozen Turkish women have been sentenced to death under Iraqi anti-terrorism laws.

Source: Gulf News, Agencies, April 17, 2018


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