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…

Saudi Arabia national executed over armed robberies

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Saudi Arabia has executed a Saudi man over armed attacks on banks in the Red Sea city of Jeddah 16 years ago.

The interior ministry said that Jameel Bin Mohammad Al Aseeri had 3 accomplices, 2 Saudi nationals and 1 foreigner, during the attacks.

The 4 gangsters covered their faces and stormed Al Rajhi Bank, fired in the air to scare the customers and staff. They dragged the manager out of his office and forced him and the tellers to give them the cash they had.

According to the case documents, they left the bank with SR85,000 (Dh82,243) and $4,000 (Dh14,690).

In the 2nd attack, they raided another bank, fired in the air and made away with SR190,000, Saudi daily Okaz reported on Monday.

In his confession, the ring leader said he had provided his accomplices with guns after they agreed to storm the 1st bank.

He said he was the one who fired bullets to scare the staff and the customers and that his accomplices took the money from the tellers.

Police said the main suspect had criminal precedents, unlike his accomplices.

The 1st court to review their cases sentenced all 4 defendants to death, but the verdict was challenged and another court decided the death sentence for the ring leader and 25 years in prison for the others.

However, the verdict was appealed a 2nd time and the court ruled 25 years for the ring leader and 20 for the accomplices.

The case was taken to the high court and the judges ruled the death penalty for the leader and 25 years for the others.

Al Aseeri was executed on Sunday after all legal avenues were exhausted.

Source: Gulf News, May 14, 2018

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