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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…

Belarus: Execution of Syarhey Iwanow and confirmation of Sergei Khmelevsky's death sentence

Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko
Belarus' President Alexander Lukashenko
Statement by the Spokesperson on the execution of Syarhey Iwanow and of the confirmation of the death sentence against Sergei Khmelevsky.

Despite the many calls made by the European Union, another execution has been carried out in Belarus. The case of Syarhey Iwanow, who had been sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Belarus in March 2015, is particularly disturbing in light of the fact that his complaint was pending with the UN Human Rights Committee.

The death sentence against Sergei Khmelevsky, which was upheld by the Belarus Supreme Court on 6 May, has also been confirmed.

The European Union opposes capital punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent to crime and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity. Over the last decades, numerous countries have realised that the death penalty cannot be justified under any circumstances and have stopped applying it.

We expect Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment, to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition.

Source: diplomaticintelligence.eu, May 7, 2016


EU Condemns Belarus Over Execution

Country remains only nation in Europe still applying the death penalty.

The European Union has expressed concern following recent reports of an execution in Belarus.

In a 7 May statement EU officials called the execution of convicted murderer Syarhey Iwanow “particularly disturbing” given the fact that his complaint was pending with the UN Human Rights Committee.

The statement also mentions another prisoner Sergei Khmelevsky, whose death sentence has already been confirmed by the Belarusian Supreme Court.

“We expect Belarus, the only country in Europe still applying capital punishment, to join a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition,” the statement notes.

At the moment, Belarus is the only UN member state in Europe that still hasn’t abolished the death penalty. In 2015 two Belarusian citizens were executed. 

Over 400 people have been executed in the country since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The use of capital punishment has been one factor keeping the country out of the Council of Europe. 

In a 1996 referendum, 80.44 percent of Belarusians were against abolishing the capital punishment.

Source: TOL, May 9, 2016

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