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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…

Saudi Prince to meet Ban Ki Moon, as juveniles await beheading

UN building in NYC
The UN Secretary-General must use a meeting with the Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia tomorrow to call for the release of three Saudi juveniles who face beheading after allegedly attending protests, human rights organization Reprieve has said.

Emergency Action: UN Secretary General must ask Saudi Arabia to stop juvenile executions. Email the UN Secretary General now.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman will tomorrow (22nd) meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon in New York, in the latest of a series of diplomatic meetings that included a trip to the White House last Friday. The meeting takes place amid fears for the fate of three juveniles who have been sentenced to death after they allegedly attended protests in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province in 2012.

Ali al-Nimr, Abdullah al Zaher and Dawood al-Marhoon – who are assisted by Reprieve – were all under 18 when they were arrested and tortured into ‘confessions’, which were later used to convict them in secretive trials. Last autumn, they were informed that their final appeals had been rejected. They could now be executed at any time.

Saudi Arabia has executed a record number of prisoners this year; a mass execution carried out on January 2nd saw at least two juveniles killed. One of them, Ali al-Ribh, had been arrested in school in the wake of the Eastern Province protests.

The execution of juveniles and prisoners arrested for non-violent alleged crimes is prohibited under international law. Research carried out by Reprieve last year found that, of those prisoners identified as facing execution in Saudi Arabia, some 72 per cent had been arrested for non-violent crimes, including political protest.

Commenting, Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve, said: “The Saudi authorities are engaged in unprecedented levels of repression – Prince Mohammed’s trip cannot mask his government’s skyrocketing use of torture, secret trials and beheadings. Among those who face execution for allegedly attending protests are juveniles Ali, Dawood and Abdullah, and it is crucial that Ban Ki Moon and other heads of state do not miss a crucial opportunity to raise their cases. The Secretary General must make clear to the Prince tomorrow that these terrible abuses in Saudi Arabia must stop – and that Ali, Dawood and Abdullah must be released.”


Source: Reprieve, June 21, 2016

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