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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.
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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…

China: Nurse who murdered fiance sentenced to death

A 28-year-old nurse was sentenced to death yesterday for murdering her fiance by injecting him with insulin when he was unconscious, the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court said.

According to the court, the condemned woman, surnamed Tao, a nurse at Shanghai No.6 Hospital's branch in the Pudong New Area, got into a row with the victim, surnamed Luo, when they were preparing for their wedding.

Already suspecting him of dishonesty, she became angry when he asked to delay the ceremony, which was to be held in January last year.

Between December 2014 and March 2015, Tao obtained a large amount of sleeping tablets at the hospital and bought poisonous chemicals such as potassium cyanide and pesticide online.

She also took some insulin - a substance used to control diabetes - from the hospital. Excessive insulin can cause a sharp decrease in a person's blood sugar and affect their central nervous system.

On April 1, Tao gave Luo a drink of water laced with sleeping tablets at her residence in Xuhui District.

After he fell asleep, Tao injected him with a fatal dose of insulin.

Tao's mother and aunt reported Luo's death to local police the next day, and officers soon identified Tao as the suspect.

Tao claimed that Luo had caused his own death by taking sleeping tablets, but later confessed to the murder during questioning.

The court ruled that because Tao is a nurse who used her professional knowledge to commit the murder, she deserved the death penalty.

Tao decided not to appeal against the sentence.

Source: Shanghai Daily, April 14, 2016

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