In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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…

Myanmar President grants general amnesty for 8541 prisoners

President Win Myint
President Win Myint granted a general amnesty for 8541 prisoners including 36 prisoners of conscience and 51 foreign ones to mark Myanmar New Year day which falls on April 17.

A total of 8490 prisoners were released on the presidential amnesty according to the notification No 17/2018 with the purpose of enabling the people to feel peace of mind and giving special attention to humanitarianism.

The president released 51 foreign prisoners granting a general amnesty according to the notification No 18/2018 with the intention of marking Myanmar New Year day, paying special attention to foreign relations and respecting humanitarianism. The foreign prisoners were deported back to their native countries they had come from.

Among the prisoners released on the presidential amnesty were 27 elderly persons of 80 years old and above, 25 elderly persons of 75 to 80 years old, 14 persons of ill health, 44 foreigners, 1462 persons of narcotic drug section 15, 3220 persons of narcotic drug section 16 (C), 1680 persons of narcotic drug section 15/16 (C), 141 persons of police disciplinary punishment, 36 prisoners of conscience, a female local prisoner and 2 Vietnamese prisoners, cited the writing from the Facebook of Zaw Htay, Director General of the State Counsellor Office.

A total of 58 prisoners were released from Thayawady Prison, northern part of Bago Region. Three prisoners of conscience including Ye Baw Than Gyoung, who got four death sentences and life sentence, were also released. Three prisoners of conscience are Ye Baw Than Gyoung, Major Win Naing Kyaw and Kyaw Hlaing.

"I can't believe that I am released. It is too early to say comments as I don't know how I stand," Ye Baw Than Gyoung said.

Ye Baw Than Gyoung is the person who got 4 death sentences and life sentence. Major Win Naing Kyaw is the person who got a death sentence and jail term for 28 years.

A total of 64 prisoners from Dawei Prison, Taninthayi Region were released on the presidential amnesty. There were 58 male prisoners and 6 female prisoners.

"Dawei Prison released a total of 64 prisoners as they were granted an amnesty. Before releasing the prisoners, the departmental officials gave advice to them. K 1000 was provided to each prisoner. I was not authorized to say which prisoner got what punishment," said the responsible person of Dawei Prison.

Pakokku Prison released a total of 22 prisoners as they were granted an amnesty. Similarly, Meiktila Prison released 64 prisoners, Myitkyina Prison, 470 prisoners, Paungte Prison, 15 prisoners, Monywa Prison, 41 prisoners, Pathein Prison, 47 prisoners, Katha Prison, 107 prisoners, Hpa-an Prison, 156 prisoners, Thayet Prison, 44 prisoners, Lashio Prison, 162 prisoners, Orebo Prison, 460 prisoners, Sittwe Prison, 87 prisoners, Myeik Prison, 293 prisoners, Hinthada Prison, 23 prisoners, and Buthidaung Prison, 58 prisoners including 23 Bangladeshis.

Source: elevenmyanmar.com, April 21, 2018

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