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Tennessee execution: Billy Ray Irick tortured to death, expert says in new filing

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Editor's note: Reporter Dave Boucher was one of seven state-required media witnesses at Irick's execution. 
Billy Ray Irick felt searing pain akin to torture before he died in a Tennessee prison in August, but steps taken in carrying out his execution blocked signs of suffering, according to a doctor who reviewed information about the lethal injection.
In new court filings entered late Thursday amidst an ongoing legal challenge of Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol, Dr. David Lubarsky said statements from people who witnessed the execution indicated the controversial drug midazolam failed to ensure Irick could not feel pain during his death.
As a result, the death row inmate “experienced the feeling of choking, drowning in his own fluids, suffocating, being buried alive, and the burning sensation caused by the injection of the potassium chloride,” Lubarsky wrote in the filing.
The document also says the state did not follow its own lethal injection protocol, raising questio…

Indonesia: Presidential Guard Member Caught With Drugs at N. Sumatra Airporti

Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces
Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces
Medan. A member of Indonesia's elite Presidential Security Forces (Paspampres) was caught on Monday trying to bring a small amount of narcotics on board a civilian airplane at Kualanamu International Airport in North Sumatra.

Police said Pvt. First Class Frestiyan Ardha Pranatha had half a pill of ecstasy and 0.35 grams of crystal methamphetamine hidden in his head wear when he was trying to board a Garuda Indonesia flight to Jakarta.

"He was detained by Kualanamu Airport security officials during an X-ray check," said Adj. Sr. Comr. M. Edi Faryadi, the head of police in Deli Serdang district, where the airport is located.

Edi added that the suspect had been handed over to the military police and taken to Jakarta.

Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said the palace "deeply regretted" the incident and added that the government was expecting appropriate punishment.

"[This goes for] whoever gets caught, but especially for Paspampres members, who are carefully selected," Pramono said.

"This is not good, and it is not a good example," he added. "If necessary, [the soldier has to be] removed [from his position]."

The fight against drug abuse is one of President Joko Widodo's stated policy priorities and sparked international outrage last year when 14 drug convicts, including 12 foreigners, were executed.


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