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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' Mary Jane Veloso Will Not Be in the Next Round of Executions

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
Jakarta. A woman from the Philippines convicted in Indonesia for drug smuggling and sentenced to death will not be among the first round of executions carried out when capital punishment is resumed after a lull, the attorney general said on Friday (22/7).

Indonesia imposed a moratorium on executions for five years before resuming them in 2013. It provoked international outrage in April last year with the execution of eight drug traffickers, seven of them foreigners.

After the outcry, authorities said they were postponing executions while the government focussed on reviving he economy. But President Joko Widodo’s administration has this year pledged to resume executions by firing squad.

A Philippine maid, Mary Jane Veloso, got a last-minute reprieve last year, following a request from Manila after an employment recruiter, whom Veloso had accused of planting drugs in her luggage, gave herself up to police in the Philippines.

“Not yet,” Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo told reporters when asked about Veloso.

“We are still waiting on the legal process in the Philippines, which we have to respect.”

Prasetyo has said 16 prisoners will be executed this year, including nationals from Nigeria and Zimbabwe, but has declined to give a specific time frame. That number will be more than doubled next year, he said.

Indonesia has declared a “drug emergency” and vowed no mercy for drug traffickers.

Authorities have not given a breakdown of the numbers of foreigners on death row but citizens of France, Britain and the Philippines are known to be among them.

Source: Reuters, July 22, 2016


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