FEATURED POST

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

Image
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…

South Carolina: Candidate running to be governor calls for return of firing squad

Catherine Templeton
In the wake of Sunday's deadly riot at a South Carolina prison, one of the Republicans running for governor has called for bringing back firing squads.

On a radio program, Catherine Templeton said firing squads should be revived in the Palmetto State. The Republican made the comments Tuesday on the Bob Mclain Show.

"Criminals legally sentenced to death are getting an unofficial reprieve right now as South Carolina goes without the drugs necessary for lethal injection," Templeton said. "We must make the death penalty swift and final. I will push for legislation allowing firing squads for court-ordered executions. And I will also seek to deny condemned inmates their choice of execution."

Templeton, who was a Cabinet director under former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley, made her comments a little more than a day after the riot at Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville late Sunday that left 7 inmates dead.

The Charleston attorney is not the first politician in South Carolina to try and revive the use of the firing squad. S.C. Rep. Josh Putnam, R-Anderson, filed a bill in February that called for firing squads to help execute the state's death row inmates.

Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah are currently the only states that have execution by firing squad, according to deathpenaltyinfo.org.

Use of firing squads was banned in Utah in 2004, but revived in 2015, when legislation was enacted to allowing execution by firing squad if the drugs used for lethal injection are unavailable.

In November 2017, Gov. Henry McMaster announced that South Carolina does not have the drugs necessary to carry out lethal injection. The deadly mix requires 3 drugs - pentobarbital, pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride - all of which the state does not have.

Templeton has been critical of McMaster on this issue, and for his handling of the criminal justice system.

"Under Henry McMaster's watch, prisoners have been rioting and jumping fences. They use cell phones to get access to drugs and contact criminal cronies," Templeton said on the radio program. "When I'm governor, once criminals are put in prison, they will no longer dictate or demand special favor."

McMaster's campaign responded to Templeton's remarks, disputing some of her attacks on the governor.

"Governor McMaster has locked up scores of criminals during his career as U.S. attorney and South Carolina attorney general, and as governor he has led the charge in giving prisons the resources they need to be secure and keep contraband out of the hands of prisoners," Campaign Communications Director Caroline Anderegg told The State. "Catherine Templeton's false and misleading attacks are nothing but a cheap political gambit by a candidate with zero understanding of or experience in law enforcement.

"The only people responsible for this horrific violence are the criminals who perpetrated it, and for Templeton to suggest otherwise is a disgusting new low."

Including Templeton and McMaster, there are 5 Republicans running for governor. That also includes Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill and businessman John Warren.

3 Democrats - Charleston businessman Phil Noble, state Rep. James Smith of Columbia and Florence attorney Marguerite Willis - also are running for governor.

Source: thestate.com, Noah Feit, April 17, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Convicted killer from infamous “Texas 7” prison escape gets execution date

Nebraska seeks July 10 date for state's 1st execution since 1997

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

Texas man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Amnesty International Once Again Highlights Shocking Justice System in Iran

Maria Exposto: Can she avoid execution?

Botswana resumes executions, hangs death row inmate

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