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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…

E.U.: Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the death penalty in the USA

The following declaration was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 10 February 2016 at the 1247th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies.

The Committee of Ministers deplores the execution of five persons in the United States since the beginning of 2016. 

It recalls that capital punishment contravenes the principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the European Convention on Human Rights and reiterates its appeal to the United States authorities to introduce a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards abolition.

The Committee of Ministers is following with concern the debate relating to the lifting of the moratorium on executions in the State of California following the possible introduction of a new lethal injection protocol. 

It urges the Californian authorities not to go back on the moratorium put in place in 2006 so as to ensure that the death penalty remains a thing of the past.

Source: Council of Europe, Conseil de l'Europe, February 11, 2016

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