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America's Secret Death Penalty Drugs

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Governments have gone to great effort to keep the sources and methods of their death penalty regimes secret.
In November, the Omaha World-Herald sent a simple records request to the Nebraska state government. Along with several other news outlets, the paper wanted to know the source of the drugs to be used in an upcoming execution—the first in the state in more than 20 years.
In the past the Nebraska Department of Corrections would have provided this information, but now it refused. Officials there insisted that the supplier of the drugs the state intended to use, in the name of its citizens, to sedate, paralyze, and stop the beating heart of an inmate were exempt from Nebraska's public record law.
In December the Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to challenge the denial.
Nebraska is just the latest state to decide the executioner's black hood of anonymity also covers the pharmacies that mix the deadly compounds used to kill prisoners. As letha…

Saudi Arabia: First execution since Ramadan

Public execution of a Burmese woman in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution of a Burmese woman in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
RIYADH: Saudi authorities executed a murderer in the holy city of Mecca on Sunday, the first death sentence to be carried out since before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Fahd al-Hasni, a Saudi, was put to death after being convicted of stabbing dead a fellow citizen, the interior ministry said in a statement published on the official SPA news agency.

Most people executed in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

It was the 96th execution of the year in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom, which imposes the death penalty for offences including murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy.

The last execution in the Gulf country took place on May 29, more than a week before Ramadan began.

There were no beheadings during the fasting month and the following Eid’l Fitr feast.

Rights group Amnesty International says the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences last year, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan. Its figures do not include secretive China.

The London-based watchdog has said that the rate of executions this year is “higher than at the same point last year.”

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for “terrorism” offences on a single day in January.

They included prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, whose execution prompted Iranian protesters to torch Saudi diplomatic missions triggering the severing of relations between the Middle East’s leading Sunni and Shiite powers.

Source: Agence France-Presse, July 17, 2016

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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