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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…

Philippines: Duterte vows to bring back death penalty

Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte
Philippines President-elect Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to reintroduce capital punishment and give security forces permission to shoot to kill.

The controversial policies are the latest in a series from the soon-to-be leader, including bans on alcohol and smoking and a curfew for children.

He has also promised to turn the presidential palace into a hospital.

Mr Duterte was nicknamed "The Punisher" for his record as the crime-crushing mayor of the southern town of Davao.

More than 1,000 criminals were killed by security forces in Davao during Mr Duterte's stewardship.

Speaking at a press conference in the town, Mr Duterte, 71, said: "What I will do is to urge Congress to restore the death penalty by hanging."

He said permission to shoot to kill would be given for organised crime figures and people resisting arrest.

Mr Duterte courted controversy throughout his election campaign, threatening to kill drug dealers and dump them in Manila Bay.

He vowed to give himself and members of the security forces immunity from prosecution after leaving office, saying: "Pardon given to Rodrigo Duterte for the crime of multiple murder, signed Rodrigo Duterte."

Last month a video emerged showing the candidate joking about an Australian woman who was raped and murdered in Davao while he was mayor, saying she was so beautiful "the mayor should have been 1st".

In 2015, Human Rights Watch described Mr Duterte as the "death squad mayor" for his strong-arm tactics in Davao.

Source: BBC news, May 15, 2016

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