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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…

Saudi Arabia executes two for murder

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
April 4, 2016: Saudi Arabia executed two citizens for murder, raising to 84 the number of death sentences the kingdom has carried out so far this year.

Baddah al-Dusari was found guilty of killing Saudi national Abdullah al-Qahtani by repeatedly running him over, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

Mansur al-Azuri was convicted of stabbing to death fellow citizen Saad al-Subaiee following a dispute, the ministry said in separate statement.

They were both executed in al-Kharj, near the capital Riyadh.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

The executions so far this year include 47 for "terrorism" carried out in a single day on January 2.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people, most of them for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP count. 

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 4, 2016

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