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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…

China "strictly controls death penalty:" white paper

Rehearsing execution procedure in China
Rehearsing execution procedure in China
BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- China strictly controls the death penalty and employs it with prudence, said a white paper on judical protection of human rights issued on Monday.

The white paper, titled "New Progress in the Judicial Protection of Human Rights in China," said China's stand on the death penalty is to ensure that it applies only to a very small number of extremely serious criminal offenders.

China in 2011 adopted the Amendment (VIII) to the Criminal Law which abolishes the death penalty for 13 economy-related, non-violent offenses.

The Amendment (IX) to the Criminal Law, adopted in 2015, also reduced the number of crimes for capital punishment, abolishing the death penalty for nine areas of crime. It also extended the possibility of reprieve in cases of capital sentence.

In death penalty cases, the defendant's right to defense and other legitimate rights and interests are fully protected, as hearings are held for all death penalty cases of second instance, the white paper said.

When the Supreme People's Court reviews a death penalty case, it focuses on interrogating the defendant in accordance with the law, and listening to opinions of the defense counsel, according to the white paper.

It also said China took special actions against human trafficking and made important progress in combating trafficking in women and children.

A mechanism for quickly searching for missing children has been put in place around the country, under which police resources are fully mobilized to quickly find missing children, it said.

A uniform operation of thorough search and investigation for children of unknown origin has been carried out nationwide, in which DNA information of children suspected of being the victims of abduction is collected and recorded into a national DNA database for comparison.

Source: Xinhua, Sept. 12, 2016

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