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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…

Mom of killer on death row for Collin County murder makes case to pope

Pope Francis talks with Lidia Guerrero, the Argentine mother of a man on death row in Texas
Pope Francis talks with Lidia Guerrero, the Argentine mother of a man on
death row in Texas.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has met for a second time with the Argentine mother of a man on death row for the 1995 slaying of a Plano man.

The Vatican announced the meeting Saturday between Francis and Lidia Guerrero but gave no details.

After their first meeting, in Rome in 2014, the mother said that the pope, who is also Argentine, assured her of his prayers for Victor Hugo Saldano, who was convicted in 1996 for abducting and fatally shooting Paul Ray King, 46.

Francis has vigorously promoted Vatican teaching saying capital punishment is morally unjustified.

Saldano entered the United States illegally in the early 1990s.

The day laborer from Argentina became the first person sentenced to death from that country since it won independence from Spain in 1809.

Saldano and an accomplice, Jorge Chavez, 27, abducted King from a Sack 'n Save supermarket Nov. 25, 1995, and killed him later at Lake Lavon.

Guerrero has said her son is guilty of murder but has been driven insane during his time on death row and has already paid for his crime.

Chavez, the accomplice, received a life sentence in the case. He will be eligible for parole in 2035.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, AP, June 12, 2016

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