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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 executes 7 young men, including one in public

Public hanging in Farrokhshahr, Iran, on August 6, 2017
Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Shahrekord announced the public execution of a young man on August 6, 2017, according to the state-run IRIB news agency.

The 30-year-old man, convicted of rape had been sentenced to death since 2014. 

Since the case was sensitive, the judiciary process was placed on the agenda and the sentence was carried out in swift nature, Ahmadreza Bahrami said.

The victim identified only by his initials as A.R was publicly hanged in Farrokhshahr, located 10 km from the center of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province in central Iran.

Earlier this week another inmate was hanged on August 5, 2017, on drug charges in Parsilon Prison of Khorramabad, capital of Lorestan Province. He was identified as Hamed Ghaedrahmat.

On the same day, another two inmates were hanged on drug related charges in Urmia Central Prison. The victims were identified as 38-year-old Saeid Pourhormoz and Hossein Shahi. Their executions have not been made public by the state media at the time of this report.

In another development, on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, three young men were executed in Adealabad Prison of Shiraz, southern Iran. The three identified as Abolhasan Abrovan, Ata Attarzadeh, Hassan Arefianfar, were under 20 at the time of committing the crime.

Prisoner hanged in public


Iran Human Rights (AUG 8 2017): A prisoner was reportedly hanged in public in front of a crowd of people in Farrokhshahr. 

According to a report by the state-run news agency IRIB, the prisoner, identified as A.R., 30 years of age, was executed on rape charges.

Sources: Iran HRM, August 6, 2017; Iran Human Rights, August 8, 2017


Prosecutor requests hand amputation for five young men for theft


Five young men were tried on July 10, 2017, for theft in the Tehran Penal Court. The Prosecutor has requested hand amputation for them, according to the state-run Alef website.

During the trial, which was held yesterday morning in the 8th Branch of the Tehran Penal Court, the plaintiffs presented their complaints… 

Despite this, all the plaintiffs stressed that they did not want hand amputation as a punishment for the thieves.

One of the offenders, who is a 24-year-old man, said that he had come from a village to Tehran to find work.

“I was a construction worker here and did not make much money. Because of these problems, I decided to steal,” he said.

The Prosecutor requested hand amputation for all five offenders and the case was sent to court after an indictment was issued.

Source: Iran HRM, July 14, 2017

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