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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…

Iran defends its capital punishment in Europe

Public hanging in Iran, a medieval and barbaric punishment
Iran, faith-based medieval and barbaric punishments
Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, his country's Iran's capital punishment law at the European parliament on Tuesday, saying Iran mostly executes drug smugglers.

The remarks came in Brussels when lawmakers criticized the increasing number of death sentences in Iran.

Zarif also blamed Europe for their "lack of support" to help Iran control the flow of drugs to European countries.

"The European Union has accused Iran of human rights violations and banned the export of technical tools that would be used to combat the drug trade," Zarif told European lawmakers, according to BBC Persian.

The number of executions in Iran has sharply increased in recent years. At least 687 people were put to death in 2013, compared to 99 people in 2004.

Human rights activists worry that the nuclear deal with Iran and the country's increasing economic and trade relations with Europe may take the spotlight off its human rights record.

In a report in late 2015 the UN General Assembly condemned the human rights situation in Iran.

The report indicated that execution rates in Iran have rapidly increased and that 694 people were executed in Iran in 2015.

This is the highest number of executions in the country since the Iran-Iraq War, Ahmed Shaheed, the special UN rapporteur for human rights in Iran, told Rudaw at that time.

Source: rudaw.net, Feb. 18, 2016

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