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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…

Parole Board Denies Clemency for Georgia Inmate

Brandon Astor Jones
Brandon Astor Jones
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied a clemency request from the state's oldest death row inmate.

The board announced its decision Monday after holding a hearing on the request from Brandon Astor Jones. 

The 72-year-old is scheduled for execution at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the state prison in Jackson.

The parole board is the only entity in Georgia with the authority to commute a death sentence.

Jones was convicted in the 1979 killing of Cobb County convenience store manager Roger Tackett.

A federal judge granted Jones a new sentencing hearing because jurors had improperly been allowed to bring a Bible into the deliberation room. 

He was resentenced to death in 1997.

Another man convicted in the killing, Van Roosevelt Solomon, was executed in 1985.

Source: Associated Press, Feb. 1, 2016

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