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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.: Statement on the confirmation of a death sentence in Belarus

Minsk, Belarus
"The Supreme Court of Belarus on 29 March confirmed the death sentence against Ivan Kulesh, which had already been handed down by the Hrodna Regional Court in November 2015.

Mr Kulesh is guilty of serious crimes and we reiterate our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the victims of these crimes.

Despite the seriousness of the acts, the European Union opposes capital punishment in all cases. 

It has proved to fail as a deterrent and it represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.

We urge Belarus, the only country in Europe which still applies capital punishment, to respect the right to life of each one of its citizens and to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition."

Source: eeas.europa.eu, March 30, 2016

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