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Lethal injection: can pharma kill the death penalty?

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A recent problematic execution by lethal injection has reignited the debate about the ethics of using medical products to kill. In October, Oklahoma prison inmate John Marion Grant was executed by a lethal injection. Strapped to a gurney, Grant convulsed and vomited – highly unusual for the procedure – after being given midazolam, a sedative and the first of three drugs that are usually administered for lethal injection. Grant was declared unconscious around 15 minutes after receiving the first injection and died roughly six minutes after that. Extreme shortages resulting from the EU’s and pharma companies’ anti-execution moves have seen states seek alternative supplies illicitly from overseas manufacturers , obtain them from less-than-reputable compounding facilities and manufacturers , and experiment with alternative drugs and untested combinations . Now, this botched procedure – Oklahoma’s first lethal injection in six years after a spate of flawed executions in 2014 and 2015 – h

India | More Than 60% Death Row Prisoners Are Living With a Mental Health Disorder: Study

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A recent survey found more than 60% of individuals on death row in India are living with mental disorders, highlighting the correlations between death sentences and mental illness of prisoners. Prepared by Project 39A, an initiative by the National Law University, Delhi, the Deathworthy Report evaluated the mental health of 82 prisoners on death row. Of them, 51 suffered from, at least, one mental health disorder, and as many as 63 reported dealing with suicidal thoughts. One individual interviewed by the researchers described himself as “a cemetery… a walking dead body.” The report identified denial of food and repeated physical and psychological torture in prison as major contributors to the worsening mental health. “They attack our honor, they touch our private parts. They beat and humiliate you. The searching of the ward is physical and psychological torture. They throw away ironed clothes, they throw away the bed and step on it. They tore my mosquito net which was in the cell whe

US congressman and his family pose with assault rifles, days after school shooting

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Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie draws outcry by posing with 6 relatives, holding firearms with the words: ‘Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo’ WASHINGTON — A US congressman is under fire for posting a picture of his family smiling and holding guns in front of a Christmas tree days after a deadly school shooting rocked the country. RELATED |  Michigan | 3 dead, 8 injured in Oxford High School shooting; suspect is 15-year-old student Thomas Massie, a representative for the staunchly Republican state of Kentucky, posted the photo of himself and six members of his family, each grinning and gripping a gun, on Saturday with the words “Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo.” The post triggered a swift outcry, with parents of school shooting victims and fellow lawmakers accusing Massie of insensitivity days after a teenager shot dead four fellow high school students in Oxford, Michigan. “Disgraceful,” wrote John Yarmuth, a Democratic congressman from Kentucky, saying suc

Report finds California death penalty system ‘beyond repair,’ but changes are hard to come by

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California’s death penalty costs taxpayers $150 million a year. The average appeal of a death sentence, when considered by state and federal courts, takes more than 30 years to resolve. Blacks make up 6.5% of the state’s population and 35% of its condemned inmates. Jurors in capital cases are disproportionately white, due in part to a selection process that excludes death penalty opponents. Since enacting its current death penalty laws in 1977 and 1978, California has executed 13 prisoners — none since 2006 — while 156 condemned inmates have died of other causes. Those findings come from the Committee on Revision of the Penal Code, established by law last year to recommend changes in the criminal law of a state with the nation’s largest prison system and most populous Death Row. Its latest report calls for repeal of the death penalty, an option California voters considered and narrowly rejected in 2012 and 2016. Capital punishment in California is “imposed so arbitrarily — and in such

Ohio | Two bills could end death penalty in state

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Ohio is getting as close as it’s come in years to abolishing the death penalty. Two bills making their way through the legislature represent a new lease on life for some and endless pain to others. Derrick Jamison, now in Florida, described to us his 20 years on Ohio’s death row for a 1985 murder in Cincinnati for which he was cleared in 2005 after nearly getting the needle 6 times. “It was awful, man. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be there, you know? I was innocent. I’m watching all my friends being executed around me.” “What was it like when you got out?” we asked. “It was a beautiful thing, sir. It was like the day before Christmas, you know? If I could bottle up that feeling and sell it, I’d be a billionaire, you know?” State Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Clermont County) says capital punishment needs to end in Ohio. She was a longtime proponent of the death penalty but has now introduced 1 of 2 bills making their way through the legislature that would abolish capital punishment in Ohio. She

Pakistan | Police detains scores in lynching of Sri Lankan accused of blasphemy

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Officials say police have arrested 13 suspects and detained dozens of others in the lynching of a Sri Lankan employee at a sports equipment factory in eastern Pakistan Police arrested 13 suspects and detained dozens of others in the lynching of a Sri Lankan employee at a sports equipment factory in eastern Pakistan, officials said Saturday. A mob of hundreds of enraged Muslims descended on the factory in the district of Sialkot in Punjab province Friday after the Sri Lankan manager of the factory was accused of blasphemy. The mob grabbed Priyantha Kumara, lynched him and publicly burned the body, according to police. Factory workers accused the victim of desecrating posters bearing the name of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Punjab police chief Rao Sardar said Saturday that investigators arrested prominent suspects after seeing their clear role on video in instigating workers to violence, killing the manager and dragging his body outside, and taking selfies with his burning body and proudly

Bangladesh | HC upholds death penalty of 2 for child rape, murder; 1 gets life term

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The High Court today confirmed the death sentence of 2 convicts, upheld the life imprisonment of 1, and acquitted 2 others in a case filed for the rape and murder of a child, Tania Akhter, in Narayanganj, 22 years ago. Tania, 14, an 8th grader of Rebati Mohoan High School in Siddhirganj upazila, was raped and strangled to death on December 13, 1999. The bench of Justice SM Emdadul Hoque and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty delivered the verdict after hearing arguments on the death reference (trial court documents) and the appeals of the convicts and accused of the case. The death penalty of the convicts, Amir Hossain alias Khokon and Mohor Chan, was upheld by the High Court.  The court also upheld the life imprisonment of the convict, Safor Ali, and acquitted two accused -- Nure Alam and Manir Hossain, Deputy Attorney General Harunur Rashid confirmed The Daily Star. He said the trial court concerned in Narayanganj on November 3, 2015 had sentenced Amir and Mohor to death and sentenced S

Bangladesh | Man gets death penalty for killing pregnant wife in Jashore

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A local court on Thursday sentenced a man to death for killing his pregnant wife in Jhikargachha Upazila of Jashore in 2013, over dowry. Jashore Woman and Child Repression Prevention Tribunal Judge Nilufar Shirin handed down the verdict. The convict was identified as Akimul Islam, son of late Ahed Ali in Nayra village of the area. The court also fined convict Akimul Tk 50,000. According to the prosecution, Akimul Islam used to physically abuse his wife Halima Khatun on the pretext of dowry, even after Halima brought him money on several occasions. Lastly Akimul demanded Tk 15 lakh as dowry but Halima gave him a cheque for Tk 1 lakh on May 31, 2013. Akimul beat up his pregnant wife mercilessly for not getting the demanded money, leaving her dead. With the help of police her family members were able to recover her body. Later, the victim's father Liakot Ali filed a murder case with Jhikargachha Police Station in this regard. After investigation, police submitted a charge sheet agains

Afghanistan | Taliban Kill, ‘Disappear’ Ex-Officials

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Raids Target Former Police, Intelligence Officers Taliban forces in Afghanistan have summarily executed or forcibly disappeared more than 100 former police and intelligence officers in just four provinces since taking over the country on August 15, 2021, despite a proclaimed amnesty, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 25-page report, “‘No Forgiveness for People Like You,’ Executions and Enforced Disappearances in Afghanistan under the Taliban,” documents the killing or disappearance of 47 former members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) – military personnel, police, intelligence service members, and militia – who had surrendered to or were apprehended by Taliban forces between August 15 and October 31.  Human Rights Watch gathered credible information on more than 100 killings from Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunduz provinces alone. “The Taliban leadership’s promised amnesty has not stopped local commanders from summarily executing or disappearing fo

Monthly Report November 2021, Iran Human Rights Monitor

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Monthly Report November 2021, Iran Human Rights Monitor On Friday, November 26, 2021, government troops and anti-riot guards attacked the sit-in protest of farmers in the dried up riverbed of Zayanderud in Isfahan. Many farmers and citizens were wounded and arrested in this raid. The State Security Force and its special units were stationed in three locations around the Khajou Bridge and on the roads leading to Zayanderud to prevent people’s gathering. Security and intelligence forces had sent threatening text messages to the public warning them against participating in the farmers’ protest on Friday, November 26. Isfahan farmers started their sit-in protest since November 7 in protest of the regime’s failure to implement efficient plans for water distribution. On Friday, November 19, thousands of residents of Isfahan joined Isfahan farmers’ protest upon the latter’s call. They held a gathering on the Khajou Bridge and on the riverbed of Zayanderud. Previously, in the early hours of Th

Another Mississippi inmate asks state to set execution date

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi death row inmate says he wants the state to start planning his execution — a request that comes weeks after another Mississippi prisoner surrendered appeals and was put to death. “I ask to see that my execution should be carried out forthwith,” Blayde Nathaniel Grayson said in a handwritten letter filed Friday with the state Supreme Court. Mississippi carried out its first execution in nine years on Nov. 17, giving a lethal injection to David Neal Cox. A jury sentenced Cox to death after he pleaded guilty to killing his estranged wife and sexually assaulting his stepdaughter in front of her dying mother. Grayson was convicted of capital murder in August 1997 in the May 1996 stabbing death of 78-year-old Minnie Smith during a burglary of her home in in George County. In his letter filed Friday, Grayson wrote to the Supreme Court justices that he wanted to give up all appeals. “Sirs & Ma’ms I drop my appeals and thank the courts of our nation for d