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…

Maldivian and international human rights groups urge Maldives President to halt execution plans

Maldives
Leading Maldivian and international human rights organizations are calling on the President of the Maldives to halt plans to break a 60 year moratorium on executions.

A group of organizations – Reprieve, Amnesty International, the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network, FORUM-ASIA, Maldivian Democracy Network, Transparency Maldives and Uthema – have sent a joint letter to the President of the Maldives, Abdulla Yameen, asking him to “change course and halt these planned executions.”

President Yameen has repeatedly spoken of his desire to carry out executions, despite the country’s Parliament having rejected a proposal to reinstate the death penalty in 2013. This week, the President suggested that executions would begin in September. There are concerns for three men who have had their death sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court.

In their letter to the President, the group of organizations said: “There is mounting evidence that those in line for execution – Hussein Humaam Ahmed, Ahmed Murrath and Mohammed Nabeel – have not received fair trials.”

The letter adds: “You have claimed that the introduction of executions after 60 years is necessary to end violent crime. But all the evidence shows that that the death penalty does not have a unique deterrent effect.[...] The death penalty will do nothing to make the Maldives safer.”

The intervention follows the recent raising of similar concerns by experts, including Professor Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University; and investors in the Maldives, such as Sir Richard Branson.

Commenting, Deputy Director of Reprieve Harriet McCulloch said: “President Yameen’s executions plan will do nothing to make the Maldives safer. With reports of forced ‘confessions’ and concerns about unfair trials, it’s clear there could be a grave miscarriage of justice if executions go ahead. Breaking a moratorium that has held for half a century will deal a terrible blow to the rule of law in the country. President Yameen must urgently listen to the growing calls from inside and outside the Maldives, and drop these ill-advised proposals.”

Source: Reprieve, August 10, 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.

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

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

Texas man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Iraq court sentences Belgian jihadist to death for IS membership

In Iran, gay men face the death penalty; transgender people face stern discrimination despite fatwa

Ohio man with execution set for July 18 blames killing on ‘homosexual panic’