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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…

Louisiana seeks to limit attorney fees in death row heat lawsuit

 Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola
BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana corrections officials want a federal judge to reduce the nearly $890,000 that a team of lawyers is requesting in a lawsuit over hot conditions on death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.

The Advocate reports the attorneys for Elzie Ball, Nathaniel Code and James Magee are asking Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson to order the state to pay the attorneys $795,550 in fees and another $92,000-plus in costs.

Lawyers for the state claim in court documents that the billing records for the inmates attorneys are "compromised by vague entries, imprecise record-keeping, duplicative work and unreasonable time expended without adequate justification."

The judge has given the inmates' attorneys until Jan. 13 to respond to the state's opposition.

Source: nola.com, December 30, 2015

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