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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.
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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…

Pyongyang imposes death penalty for dealers in drugs and South Korean videos

Pyongyang
Pyongyang street
North Korea is executing people who distribute illegal drugs and South Korean videos, says the Korea Institute for National Unification.

The institute published "North Korean Human Rights Report 2016" on Monday after conducting in-depth interviews with 186 North Korean defectors who came to South Korea from the end of 2014 to last year.

According to the report, three North Koreans including a Hyesan University of Agriculture and Forestry student were shot dead in Hyesan, Yanggang Province in 2013 because they distributed drugs and South Korean videos.

2 men were also executed at Hyesan airport in 2014 after being charged with smuggling drugs and watching South Korean dramas. 

The defectors said 11 people had been sentenced to death for the same offences since 2011.

North Koreans did not face the death penalty just for distributing South Korean TV programs. 

However, they were sentenced to death when police caught them dealing in or buying illegal drugs as well as the videos.

The institute said illegal drugs were widely distributed in North Korea. 

Because of the growing number of cases involving drug dealing and distribution of South Korean videos, North Korean authorities had recently launched a crackdown and introduced severe punishment.

Source: Korea Times, April 26, 2016

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