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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…

Pakistan hangs 2 brothers for murdering 6 people

The execution comes just days after Amnesty International called out Pakistan for being the world's 3rd most prolific executioner

Pakistan on Saturday, April 9, hanged two brothers convicted of murdering 6 people from the same family, just days after Amnesty International criticized the country for becoming the world's 3rd most prolific executioner after China and Iran.

Nasir Mehmood and Tahir Iqbal were hanged in a jail in the eastern Pakistani city of Sialkot early Saturday for the 2002 murders, senior prison official Chaudhry Arshad Saeed Arain told AFP.

The hanged men killed 6 members of a family over a land dispute, jail officials said. No further details were available.

A 6-year moratorium on the death penalty was lifted in Pakistan after Taliban attackers gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014.

Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but in March they were extended to all capital offences.

Executions in the Muslim-majority nation have helped fuel an increase worldwide, Amnesty International said in a report this week, with at least 1,634 people put to death globally in 2015, the highest figure recorded since 1989.

"Over the past year, Pakistan has vaulted to the number 3 spot for recorded state executions in the world - a shameful position no one should aspire to," Champa Patel, director of Amnesty's South Asia office, told AFP.

Pakistan executed 326 people last year, Patel said.

The overwhelming majority of those hanged since Pakistan fully restored the death penalty in March 2015 had no links to terrorism, said Sarah Belal, director of the Justice Project Pakistan, which advocates the abolition of hanging and represents death row convicts.

Source: rappler.com, April 8, 2016

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