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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…

California Death Row Inmate Dies of Natural Causes

California death row
California death row
Seventy condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978

An inmate sentenced to death over 30 years ago was pronounced dead Saturday morning of natural causes in a California jail.

Bernard L. Hamilton, was sentenced on March 2, 1981, by a San Diego County jury for the 1979, first-degree murder and second-degree burglary of Eleanore Buchanan.

Hamilton kidnapped, murdered and dismembered Buchanan’s body after she caught him burglarizing her van. He had a prior conviction for burglary in 1973.

Hamilton had been on death row since March 4, 1981.

Seventy condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978.

Twenty-five inmates have committed suicide, thirteen have been executed in California and two were executed in Missouri and Virginia.

Eight other inmates have died from other causes, and one cause of death is pending.

There are 747 offenders on California’s death row.

Source: nbcsandiego.com, March 28, 2016

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