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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…

Ghani should not sign execution orders of terror convicts: Amnesty International

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Amnesty International has urged President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani not to sign the execution orders of prisoners convicted of terror offences.

The appeal by Amnesty International comes as the Taliban group made a plea to international organizations to intervene and stop the Afghan government to implement death sentences.

In its latest release titled "Afghanistan: The death penalty is no solution to terrorism" Amnesty International said 'Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani should not sign execution orders."

"By hastily seeking retribution for the horrific bombings that killed over 64 people in Kabul last month, the government of Afghanistan's plans to execute those convicted of terror offences will neither bring the victims the justice they deserve, nor Afghanistan the security it needs," said Jameen Kaur, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for South Asia.

"There is no evidence that the death penalty serves as a deterrent, and there are fears that it will only serve to perpetuate a cycle of violence without tackling any of the root causes."

"The death penalty is a cruel and irreversible punishment. In a context where there are very serious questions about the fairness and transparency of the legal process, the use of torture by security forces to extract confessions, and the narrow window for appeal, there is a particular risk of mistakes being made that cannot be corrected."

"Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution."

This comes as a spokesman for the Presidential Palace said last week that a list of militants convicted of terror offences has been forwarded to President Ghani.

Source: Khaama Press, May 5, 2016

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