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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

Brunei introduces stoning, flogging, amputation among new sharia punishments

Public flogging in Iran,
another Sharia country
The Sultan of Brunei has announced tough new Islamic punishments as part of a new sharia penal code.

The punishments, which would only apply to Muslims, include death by stoning for adultery, flogging for drinking alcohol, and severing of limbs for theft.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah said the new laws would be enforced from April next year.

"It is because of our need that Allah the almighty, in all his generosity, has created laws for us, so that we can utilise them to obtain justice," the monarch said.

The oil-rich kingdom has been working for several years to introduce the new code.

The 67-year-old sultan has presided over a shift to more conservative Islam and anti-sedition laws in recent years, and said sharia criminal law should be established to work alongside the country's civil law more prominently.

Brunei already enforces Islamic teachings more sternly than its neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia.

Evangelism of other religions and the sale of alcohol is strictly forbidden.

"Brunei is showing its feudal characteristics as an 18th-century state rather than an important member of a regional South East Asian economic and social consensus in the 21st century," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The kingdom, with a population of just over 400,000, has been ruled by the monarchy for six centuries.

Sources: AFP/Reuters, October 22, 2013

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