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…

Women drug mules arrested by Indonesian authorities

Indonesian flag
KUALA LUMPUR: Despite the risk of facing a death penalty, women are still willing to be a mule to smuggle drugs into Indonesia to earn easy money.

In the latest case, a 21-year-old Malaysian woman was arrested by the Indonesian authorities after she was found smuggling methamphetamine into the republic.

The woman was detained by the authorities on Thursday at Jalan Tien Soeharto, Nunukan regency in North Kalimantan.

A source said she was arrested at about 8pm when police received tip-off on her suspicious activities.

“Police found methamphetamine and tool to consume the drugs on the woman who hails from Tawau, Sabah.”

In a separate case, a 25-year-old woman was nabbed after being suspected of trafficking methamphetamine.

“The Indonesian woman flew from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and was immediately arrested when she touched down at Bandung Husein Sastranegara International Airport.

“She attempted to bring in the drugs by strapping the substance onto her thighs.

“During interrogation, she claimed that her African friend, whom she met in Kuala Lumpur, had paid her to transport the 665g of methamphetamine,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Federal police Narcotics Criminal Investigation Department deputy director Datuk Kang Chez Chiang said money remained the main factor why women were willing to become drug mules.

“All drug mules are paid upon delivery of the drugs to the receiver (syndicate). All transportation and accommodation are taken care of with pocket money given to the drug mules.

“Other factors are paying off debts or financial problems. There are also some women who are willing to do it for the love of their boyfriend or husband who are mostly foreigners,” he said.

Under Indonesian strict drug laws, the maximum punishment for importing more than five grammes of illegal narcotics into the country is death penalty.

It is learnt that a kilogramme of methamphetamine worth between RM80,000 and RM100,000 in Malaysia, is valued at three times higher the prices in Indonesia.

Source: New Straits Times, May 13, 2018

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