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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…

More than 300 sentenced to death in Iraq for IS links

ISIS women Iraqi court
Iraqi courts have sentenced to death a total of more than 300 people, including dozens of foreigners, for belonging to the Islamic State group, judicial sources said Wednesday.

The suspects are being tried by 2 courts, 1 near the former jihadist stronghold of Mosul in northern Iraq and another in Baghdad which is dealing notably with foreigners and women.

Since January in the capital, 97 foreign nationals have been condemned to death and 185 to life in prison, according to a judicial source.

Most of the women sentenced were from Turkey and republics of the former Soviet Union.

In January, an Iraqi court condemned a German woman to death after finding her guilty of belonging to IS while on Tuesday a French woman was sentenced to life in prison.

At the court In Tel Keif near Mosul, 212 people have been sentenced to death, 150 to life in prison and 341 to other jails terms, Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said in a statement.

"It has been proven that they carried out criminal actions at public hearings conducted in accordance with the law during which the convicts' rights were guaranteed," he said.

Iraq declared victory in December against IS -- also known as ISIS -- which at one point controlled 1/3 of the country.

On Monday the justice ministry said 11 people convicted of terrorism-related charges had been executed in Iraq, which according to New York-based Human Rights Watch is the world's number 4 executioner.

"These executions follow rushed trials of ISIS suspects which are riddled with due process violations, including convictions based solely on confessions which are sometimes extracted by torture," said HRW senior Iraq researcher Belkis Wille.

"Iraq's mishandling of the ISIS trials not only denies victims real justice, but also risks sending innocent Iraqis to their deaths."

Source: al-monitor.com, April 18, 2018


Iraq reportedly sentences Kyrgyzstani woman to death for ties to ISIS


The Central Criminal Court of Iraq sentenced 7 foreign women, members of the ISIS terrorist organization, including a native of Kyrgyzstan, to life imprisonment and death penalty, RIA Novosti reported with reference to the Iraqi Al Sumaria TV channel.

A French woman and 2 Russian women were sentenced to life in prison for links to the ISIS.

According to the broadcaster, 3 women from Azerbaijan and 1 from Kyrgyzstan were handed a death penalty.

Source: akipress.com, April 18, 2018


Iraqi court sentences 4 foreign women to death for joining IS


ISIS female militants
An Iraqi court on Tuesday sentenced 4 foreign women to death and 3 to life in prison for joining the extremist militant group Islamic State (IS), the Iraqi judiciary said.

The Iraqi Central Criminal Court issued verdicts of death penalty for "3 Azerbaijani women and a Kyrgyz woman for being members of IS group," the Supreme Judicial Council said in a statement.

The court also "sentenced a French woman and 2 Russian women to life imprisonment for joining IS group," the statement said.

The Iraqi judiciary frequently sentenced women of foreign nationals to death and imprisonment for joining IS militants, including 16 Turkish women, sentenced to death on Feb. 25.

After the Iraqi forces defeated IS in Iraq in 2017, hundreds of IS loyalists were killed or captured, while many others are still at large in hideouts in Iraq or abroad.

Tuesday verdicts came a day after the Iraqi Ministry of Justice said it had executed 13 Iraqi prisoners, 11 of them over charges of terrorism, despite international calls to end the death penalty.

The increase of executions in Iraq has sparked calls to stop capital punishment by the UN mission in Iraq, European Union and some international human rights groups, which have criticized the lack of transparency in Iraqi courts.

Death penalty in Iraq was suspended on June 10, 2003, but was reinstated from Aug. 8, 2004.

Source: xinhuanet.com, April 18, 2018



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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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