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U.S. | Execution by nitrogen hypoxia doesn’t seem headed for widespread adoption as bills fall short and nitrogen producers object

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The day after Alabama carried out the first-known US execution using nitrogen gas, its attorney general sent a clear message to death penalty states that might want to follow suit: “Alabama has done it, and now so can you.” Indeed, in the weeks immediately following the January execution of Kenneth Smith, it appeared a handful of states were listening, introducing bills that would adopt the method known as nitrogen hypoxia or a similar one. Officials behind each framed the legislation as an alternative method that could help resume executions where they had long been stalled.

Singapore upholds mandatory death penalty despite some reforms

SINGAPORE on Wednesday rejected calls to abolish executions, saying the death penalty is still necessary to deter serious crimes despite legal reforms designed to lessen its use.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also minister for home affairs, said abolishing hanging would send the wrong signal to potential criminals.

Singapore has unveiled legal amendments that will enable judges to impose life imprisonment on low-level drug couriers and people who commit murder with "no outright intention to kill".

Mandatory execution will be reserved for hardcore murderers and traffickers.

"The mandatory death penalty strengthens this deterrent message," Teo said during a debate in parliament on a bill amending the anti-drugs law to allow judges some discretion under exceptional circumstances.

If Singapore abolished capital punishment as some legislators have advocated, "we would be sending the wrong signal that the risks of drug trafficking into Singapore have now been lowered, that the society is now more accepting of drugs", Teo said.


Source: Herald Sun, November 14, 2012

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