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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: Nine Prisoners Hanged

Iran: Medieval and barbaric punishments
Iran: Medieval and barbaric punishments
Nine prisoners were recently hanged in Iran.

Iran Human Rights (FEB 14 2017): Two unidentified prisoners were reportedly hanged at Mashhad's Vakilabad Prison on Sunday February 12 on murder charges, and seven unidentified prisoners were reportedly hanged at Qom's Langroud Prison on Monday February 13 on drug related charges.

According to the state-run news agency Rokna, one of the prisoners from Vakilabad Prison comitted murder on March 11, 2007 at the age of 19 while the other prisoner committed murder on December 19, 2007 at the age of 21.

The human rights news agency HRANA reported on the seven executions carried out at Langroud Prison. Their report identifies one of the prisoners as Saeed Shokri, 26 years of age.

"The prosecutor of Qom is newly appointed, and these seven executions were his way of spreading fear. Unfortunately, they didn't even allow Mr. Shokri's lawyer to file a request for a retrial. Instead, they ridiculed him and said that he should attend his client's funeral the next day," a source close to Mr. Shokri tells Iran Human Rights.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and the media, have been silent on these seven executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Feb. 14, 2017

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