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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…

Bali Nine mule to get sentence reduction

Renae Lawrence
Renae Lawrence
Indonesian prison officials have recommended Bali Nine drug mule Renae Lawrence has a further two months cut from her sentence.

Lawrence, 37, is serving her 20-year sentence in Bali's Bangli Prison, where staff confirmed she had been put forward as one of the inmates to have their sentence reduced for good behaviour as a reward this Christmas.

Prison officials say the former Newcastle woman is focused on being a diligent prisoner, and applies herself to classes in handicrafts.

Earlier this year, Indonesia executed Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, other members of the nine young Australians who tried to smuggle drugs through Bali in 2005.

The other members are all serving life sentences and not eligible for sentence cuts.

It will be the 10th Christmas in prison for Martin Stephens, Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, Michael Czugaj, Matthew Norman, Si Yi Chen and Scott Rush.

At Kerobokan jail, a spokesman said Australian inmates Nicholas Langan and Edward Myatt had been recommended for 15 days and one month remission, respectively.

Langan, a north Queensland tradesman, is due for release next month, after serving a year in custody for smoking a joint of marijuana on a Bali beach.

Myatt, from Ballarat, Victoria, was jailed in 2012 for eight years, for smuggling methamphetamine.

Source: AAP, December 24, 2015

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