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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…

Virginia: Hundreds of faith leaders call for veto of "electric chair" bill

Three local faith leaders are among more than 300 who are calling on Governor Terry McAuliffe to veto the "electric chair" bill.

House Bill 815 says that if lethal injection cannot be used to execute an inmate because of a lack of the necessary drugs, then the inmate shall be executed by electrocution.

According to a release, the group of interfaith clergy says it believes "the death penalty is wrong, ineffective, born of a mistaken conception of justice."

Reverend Eric Liles, Reverend Joshua Andrzejewski and Reverend Diana Brawley are among the hundreds of faith leaders calling on McAuliffe to veto the bill.

"At the heart of the Christian faith is a belief in redemption and a rejection of cruelty. Resurrecting a brutal killing machine such as the electric chair violates these values," said Richard Cizik, President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good in Fredericksburg. "Gov. McAuliffe has no moral choice but to veto this bill."

Pope Francis has spoken on the Catholic Church's opposition to the death penalty, saying it shouldn't be used no matter how serious the crime that was committed.

He also proclaimed 2016 the Year of Mercy.

The faith leaders are urging McAuliffe to honor the teachings of his Catholic faith, which says execution by the state would violate the sanctity of life.

Source: newsplex.com, April 8, 2016

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