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…

Pakistan: Army chief ratifies death sentences for 11 terror convicts

Pakistan flag
Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa ratified death sentences handed down to 11 militants and prison sentences given to 3 others, an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release said on Saturday.

The convicts, who were tried by special military courts, were found guilty of attacks on the army, law enforcement agencies, academic institutions including Malakand University and the murder of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) MPA Imran Khan Mohmind and other civilians.

"On the whole, [the convicts] were involved in the killing of 60 persons including 36 civilians, 24 armed forces/Frontier Constabulary/police officials and injuring 142 others," the statement read.

All 14 convicts, who were members of proscribed organisations, admitted their offences before a magistrate and the trial court, and were subsequently awarded death sentences, the military's media wing said.

- Burhan Uddin s/o Umar Daraz, Shaheer Khan s/o Rehman Uddin, Gul Faraz Khan s/o Wasli Khan

All 3 convicts were involved in an attack on a funeral service of a civilian in Mardan, which resulted in the killing of 30 people including KP MPA Mohmind while 100 others were injured. All convicts were awarded death sentences.

- Muhammad Zeb s/o Muhammad Nawab

Zeb was found guilty of killing 5 army men including Naib Subedar Muhammad Hanif, Havildar Muhammad Naseer, Havildar Muhammad Qayyum as well as injuring 6 others. He also possessed firearms and explosives. He was awarded death sentence.

- Saleem s/o Abdul Mateen

He was involved in attacks on armed forces and civilians that resulted in the deaths of 3 of the latter. He was sentenced to death.

- Izat Khan s/o Ajib ul Bahar

He was involved in an attack on Malakand University that led to the deaths of a civilian and four police officials and injured seven others. He was also involved in attacks on 3 other academic institutions and possessed firearms and explosives. He was awarded death sentence.

- Muhammad Imran s/o Hazrat Umar

The convict was involved in attacks on the armed forces which resulted in the deaths of Naik Ghulam Hassan, Naik Ifitkhar Ali and a soldier. 4 other soldiers were injured as well. He was awarded death sentence.

- Yousaf Khan s/o Ahmed Jan

He was involved in attacking the armed forces, causing the deaths of 2 soldiers and injuring 4 others. He was sentenced to death.

- Nadir Khan s/o Amir Rehman

He was involved in attacking the armed forces which resulted in the deaths of Havildar Muhammad Ismail and a soldier. He was also found in possession of firearms and explosives. He was awarded death sentence.

- Muhammad Arif Ullah Khan s/o Zareen Gul

He was involved in attacking the armed forces which resulted in the deaths of 2 soldiers and caused injuries to s7 others. He was awarded death sentence.

- Bakht Muhammad Khan s/o Ghawas Khan

He was involved in the murder of 1 civilian as well as attacks on armed forces that resulted in the killing of 2 soldiers and left 2 others injured.

Military courts

Military courts were disbanded on January 7, 2017, after the expiration of a sunset clause included in the legal provisions under which the tribunals were established.

However, on March 31, President Mamnoon Hussain gave his formal assent to the Pakistan Army Act 2017 and the 23rd Constitutional Amendment Bill - the 2 pieces of legislation aimed at granting legal cover to military courts - after they were cleared by the parliament.

The courts were subsequently revived for 2 years and given legal cover from the day of their disbandment.

Source: dawn.com, May 5, 2018

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

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