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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…

China Executes Tajik National For Drug Trafficking

Chinese police officers rehearsing execution procedure
Chinese police officers rehearsing execution procedure
Chinese authorities have executed a Tajik national convicted of drug trafficking.

Tajik Foreign Ministry officials told RFE/RL that Hasan Yusufov, 51, was executed early in the morning on January 28.

Tajik Embassy representatives were allowed to meet with Yusufov before his execution, the officials said.

Yusufov was arrested in Urumqi, the capital of China's northwestern region of Xinjiang, in 2011 and was charged with drug trafficking.

He was later found guilty and sentenced to death.

All attempts by the Tajik Embassy to overturn the death sentence were fruitless, the Foreign Ministry officials said, adding that talks were under way to bring Yusufov's body home to Tajikistan.

Tajik officials said earlier that 16 Tajik citizens were currently in China's prison system, 4 of whom are on death row while 5 are serving life terms.

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, January 28, 2016

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