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USA | It Is Time to End the Lethal Injection Mess

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On June 23, amidst all furor over its gun rights and abortion decisions, the Supreme Court handed down a little noticed death penalty decision, Nance v Ward . In that case, a five-Justice majority ruled that death row inmates could file suits using 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, a federal law that authorizes citizens to sue in federal court for the deprivation of rights, to bring suit alleging that an execution method violated the Eighth Amendment. Michael Nance, who was sentenced to death in 2002, will now be able to proceed with his suit contesting Georgia’s plan to execute him by lethal injection. Nance suffers from medical conditions that have compromised his veins. To use lethal injection, the only execution method now authorized by state law, prison authorities would have to “cut his neck” to establish an intravenous execution line. He also claims that his long-time use of a drug for back pain would diminish the effect of the sedative used in Georgia’s drug cocktail. Nance alleges that

Yemen executes man for rape, killing 11-year-old





Yahia al-Raghwa, 22, was found guilty of raping and murdering Hamdi Abdullah, 11, at his barber shop in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, last December.

He was shot by a firing squad in a public square in the capital on Monday, in the presence of hundreds of people including the family of the victim.

Photographs of the execution showed al-Raghwa being led by guards to the square before he was forced to kneel. He was then shot in the back of the head in public view before his body was dragged away.

His death brings the number of executions in the country this year to nine.

Yemen is one of 59 countries which retains the death penalty, and one of its most prolific users, according to Amnesty International.

It is deployed for a variety of violent and non-violent crimes including apostasy and adultery.

Last year Yemen executed 13 people, according to those Amnesty has verified. But as no official figures are released the real toll could be far higher.

All of those died by firing squad but in recent years there have been reports of stonings and beheadings.

The deeply religious desert country has a poor human rights record and it is unclear if al-Raghwa had a fair trial.

Under sharia law, which applies in Yemen, relatives of the victims of certain categories of murder have the power to pardon the offender in exchange for compensation, grant a pardon freely or request his or her execution.

Source: telegraph.co.uk, July 7, 2009

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