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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…

Thailand's PM calls for death penalty for rapists

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha
PRIME Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday ordered the legal community and judiciary to ensure that convicted rapists are sentenced to death.

"Foreign countries tackle rape cases by resorting to capital punishment," the prime minister said.

"Is it possible in Thailand? The judicial sector must undertake this.''

Prayut added that he also wanted legislators to review the punishment of suspects who are accused of serious crimes, which if prosecuted will create far-reaching consequences for the public.

"Is it possible that we impose heavier punishment for offenders in serious crimes? Some offences carry only Bt1,000 to Bt2,000 fines.

"This is not right because the country has to spend resources in putting these cases through trial of hundreds of thousands to millions [of baht],'' he said.

Prayut made the remarks on the occasion of world Anti-Human Trafficking Day while presiding over an awards presentation ceremony for officials who have succeeded in prosecuting offenders in human trafficking cases.

The PM said he wanted officials to take proactive measures to prevent crimes, not only reward officers who made arrests.

"But I admit some problems like prostitution are caused by poverty as no one wants to become a prostitute. We arrest offenders who are poor and they have nothing to eat. Why do we have to do it? We have to set everything right,'' Prayut said.

He added that the government aimed to achieve a 90-per-cent success rate in the fight against human trafficking, which would signal that the country was almost crime-free.

"To achieve this goal, one country cannot solve the problem," Prayut said. "We must build up a network and seek cooperation with Asean countries to prevent the problem at upstream, middle-stream and downstream levels."

Source: The Nation, June 7, 2016

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