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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…

Georgia: States debating alternatives to lethal injection

Lethal injection is the primary method used for the death penalty and in just days it'll be used on a Georgia death row inmate, but the drugs limited availability has some states looking for a new solution.

The method has been the primary use of execution since 1982 and now 1,425 executions later, states are starting to rethink it for the death penalty. 

Virginia has a bill on the table trying to bring back the electric chair. It's passed the state house and senate and now waits for a Governor's signature.

The main reason, the lethal drugs are hard to come by and we are seeing that close to home. Last year, South Carolina ran out of the lethal injection cocktail, putting 44 executions on hold. 

Also in March of last year the 1st woman put on Georgia's death row in 70 years Kelly Gissender had her death rescheduled several times between march and June because the lethal drug again was hard to come by.

Also in June there was a case of cloudiness due to shipping and storing that delayed Gissender's death again. Georgia also had an issue a few years ago where it was running out of the drug completely. 

Starting from 2010 when states where asked to use a new formula several cases had botched drugs causing a slow death for several inmates, several states issued holds on capital punishment.

Right now there are 19 states that have outlawed capital punishment, 5 states since 2009.

Although there have been difficulties case by case, for now, Georgia is continuing with lethal injection for the death penalty. 

Joshua Daniel Bishop is scheduled to die on Thursday for an armed robbery where he beat a man to death for not turning over his Jeep keys. 

Another, Kenneth Fults is set for lethal injection execution on April 12th.

Source: WRDW news, March 28, 2016

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