FEATURED POST

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

Image
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…

Philippine president swears at European MPs over death penalty criticism

President Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has berated the European parliament for passing a resolution condemning his plans to revive the death penalty for drug convicts.

“I’ll talk in English,” he said, speaking to Filipino expatriates on a two-day state visit to Myanmar. “Do not impose your culture or your belief in what would be a government in this planet. Do not impose on other countries, especially us.

“Why don’t you mind your own business? Why do you have to fuck with us, goddamn it?”

Since taking office in July last year, Duterte, nicknamed “the Punisher” for his lethal approach to policing, has led a bloody drugs war that has killed more than 7,000 people. Many of the dead are suspected low-level dealers and alleged drug addicts.

Loved by many in the Philippines for his confrontational style, the president has lashed out at his critics, labelling the United Nations “stupid” and former US president Barack Obama a “son of a whore”. He also announced he personally killed criminals, including throwing one suspect to his death from a helicopter.

The Philippine house of representatives approved a version of the death penalty bill this month that will allow the execution of drug convicts by hanging, firing squad, or lethal injection. The draft will now go to the senate.

A resolution delivered by European Union lawmakers last week said it was “deeply alarmed” that the Philippines was planning to reintroduce the death penalty and that it considers capital punishment to be “cruel and inhuman ... which fails to act as a deterrent to criminal behaviour.”

The text also called for the release of Duterte’s highest-profile critic, Senator Leila de Lima, who was arrested last month on drug trafficking charges that the EU said “are almost entirely fabricated”.

The body also condemned Duterte’s open threats to kill human rights defenders, “credible reports” that Philippine polices falsify evidence to justify extrajudicial killings, and plans to lower the age of criminal responsibility to nine years old.

Following the killing of a South Korean businessman by rogue officers, Duterte halted all police operations in his anti-drug campaign. However, he has asked the army to continue the crackdown on crime.

More than two-thirds of all countries in the world have abolished the death penalty.

The Philippines was one of the first states in southeast Asia to ban executions although Duterte said in his speech on Sunday that the punishment was a “favourite” in the region.

“Because there is a death penalty in Indonesia, Malaysia, and I’m trying to revive it,” he said.

Source: The Guardian, Oliver Holmes, March 20, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Texas executes Juan Castillo

Mary Jane Veloso: The woman the firing squad left behind

Five executed in Iran, two hanged in public

Collection of items from the career of Britain's most famous executioner discovered

What Indiana officials want to keep secret about executions

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

China: Appeal of nanny's death penalty sentence wraps up

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson