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States to try new ways of executing prisoners. Their latest idea? Opioids.

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The synthetic painkiller fentanyl has been the driving force behind the nation’s opioid epidemic, killing tens of thousands of Americans last year in overdoses. Now two states want to use the drug’s powerful properties for a new purpose: to execute prisoners on death row.
As Nevada and Nebraska push for the country’s first fentanyl-assisted executions, doctors and death penalty opponents are fighting those plans. They have warned that such an untested use of fentanyl could lead to painful, botched executions, comparing the use of it and other new drugs proposed for lethal injection to human experimentation.
States are increasingly pressed for ways to carry out the death penalty because of problems obtaining the drugs they long have used, primarily because pharmaceutical companies are refusing to supply their drugs for executions.
The situation has led states such as Florida, Ohio and Oklahoma to turn to novel drug combinations for executions. Mississippi legalized nitrogen gas this s…

American Samoa Governor wants death penalty to go

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has submitted legislation to the Fono to repeal the death penalty.

He says while he recognises the need for lawmakers and the courts to be tough on murderers, there is currently no practical way to humanely impose the death penalty.

The Governor says in other U.S. jurisdictions where the death penalty is available they have the funding for the equipment to carry out the sentence and to ensure the condemned person's constitutional rights are protected.

He says without this funding the death penalty is not a deterrent to heinous crimes but tough talk and an empty threat.

He is proposing that the sole penalty for murder in the 1st degree be life imprisonment.

Source: Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 11, 2012

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