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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…

Iran Supreme Court Confirms Death Sentence for Businessman Babak Zanjani

Babak Zanjani
Babak Zanjani
Iran Human Rights (DEC 5 2016): The death sentence for Babak Zanjani, the prime suspect in a high profile financial corruption case, has been confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court.

Gholamreza Ansari, a senior official at the Supreme Court, confirmed the news to the state-run news agency, Mizan. 

In regards to the two other defendants in the case, Mehdi Shams and Hamid Fallah Heravi, Ansari said their death sentences were quashed by the Supreme Court pending a new trial.

Babak Morteza Zanjani is an Iranian businessman who was arrested on the order of Iran's Attorney General on December 30, 2013 under corruption and bribery charges in alleged connection to skirting international sanctions and money laundering. 

In March 2016, an Iranian court reportedly sentenced Zanjani, Shams and Fallah Heravi to death and ordered them to pay a fine equalling to one fourth of the total amount of money they allegedly laundered.

Iran Human Rights condemns the execution sentence confirmed for Babak Zanjani, and is deeply concerned about the Iranian authorities' usage of the death penalty sentence for cases of financial corruption.

"The Iranian authorities turn to the death penalty as the solution to all their problems. They are are using Babak Zanjani as a scapegoat to evade accountability for and divert public opinion from the deep corruption which exists within all levels of the Iranian political establishment ," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 5, 2016

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