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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: Man hanged in Saveh Prison

Public hanging, Iran
Iran Human rights (April 30, 2018): A prisoner was executed at Saveh Prison on murder and rape charges.

According to Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), on the morning of Monday, April 30, a prisoner was executed at Saveh Prison on the charge of raping and murdering a five-year-old child.

The prisoner, identified as Reza Salehi, 34 years old at the time of the execution, was convicted of raping and then murdering a five-year-old child. 

Qasem Abdollahi, the head of the Ministry of Justice of Markazi Province said, “Reza Salehi was arrested a few whiles after the investigation started. He confessed to visiting the child’s mother especially at the night of the murder, but he only confessed to hitting the child, not the rape. Nevertheless, based on the evidence, the judges realized that the child was abused."

Abdollahi added, “after the Criminal Court issued the sentence in Saveh, it was objected to, but the Supreme Court approved the sentence and, afterward, the Head of the Judiciary was asked for permission (Estijaz) to carry out death penalty which was granted on April 28.”

He explained, “In case of Estijaz, the execution will be carried out even if the next of kin forgive the defendant or ask for blood money. In this case, the next of kin asked for blood money, and the defendant was hanged at Saveh Prison on the charge of raping Tabassom Bodaqi, a five-year-old child." Therefore, Reza Salehi was executed on the rape charge, not the murder charge. 

Source: Iran Human Rights, May 1, 2018


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

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