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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…

Indonesia: Firing squad personnel dispatched to Nusakambangan

Hundreds of firing squad personnel from the Central Java Police’s Mobile Brigade were taken to Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap on Tuesday evening. 

They were transported to the prison island using several police trucks at around 8:00 p.m. local time via Wijayapura Quay in Cilacap. 

It took only five minutes for the firing squad team to reach Nusakambangan via the prison island’s motor vessel, the KM Pengayoman IV.

The firing squad’s arrival indicates the imminent executions of several drug convicts, the third round of executions since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office.

The Central Java Police said they had prepared a Brimob firing squad team comprising 150 personnel for the third round of executions. “Each condemned convict will be handled by one firing squad, which consists of 12 Brimob personnel. Ten will acts as executioners while the two remaining officers are assigned to carry flashlights,” Central Java Police spokesperson Sr.Comr.Liliek Darmanto told The Jakarta Post.

Nusakambangan has been closed to family visits since Monday, ahead of the executions, which reportedly will be conducted early on Saturday. 

Nusakambangan is now restricted to unauthorized personnel, except families of the condemned, prison personnel and parties related to the executions. 

Hundreds of police personnel are on guard starting from the entrance to Wijayapura Quay, the only access to the prison island.

“On the day itself, we will dispatch around 1,500 personnel to secure the executions so everything runs smoothly,” Cilacap Police spokesperson Adj.Comr.Bintoro told journalists.

Source: The Jakarta Post, Agus Maryono, July 27, 2016

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