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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…

'They electrocuted me' says Indonesia's death-row prisoner nearing execution

Michael Titus Igweh
Michael Titus Igweh
A Nigerian man facing imminent execution in Indonesia tearfully told a court that police electrocuted his genitals to force him to confess to possessing heroin.

Michael Titus Igweh is among several prisoners on death row whom lawyers and human rights groups are frantically lobbying to save from the firing squad amid claims they were tortured and their legal cases riddled with corruption, errors and miscarriages of justice.

"I was constantly beaten, and my genitals electrocuted until I was helpless," the clothes importer, who was sentenced to death in 2003 for possessing 5.8 kilograms of heroin, told the Tangerang District Court in May. "In fact, I was threatened to be shot."

Sources have told Fairfax Media the third wave of executions in Indonesia could be held within days. It is understood the Nigerian and Pakistani embassies have now been notified that their nationals are among those to be killed.

Indonesian Attorney-General Muhammad Prasetyo reiterated on Friday the executions would be "soon" and would include Indonesians and possibly a woman. Mr Prasetyo had earlier said prisoners from Nigeria and Zimbabwe would be among those targeted.

In a further ominous sign the executions could be just days away, prison visits have this week been suspended to the penal island of Nusakambangan, where the prisoners will be strapped to wooden posts and shot in a field.

Fourteen drug offenders were executed in Indonesia last year, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, sparking an international backlash.

However the Indonesian government insists executions are necessary to combat a so-called drugs emergency.

"The public want it to be done soon," Attorney-General Prasetyo said on Friday. "We are getting more informed now and can see how drugs have affected our younger generation. We could just lose a generation."


Source: The Sydney Morning Telegraph, Jewel Topsfield, Amilia Rosa, Karuni Rompies, July 24, 2016


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