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Tennessee execution: Billy Ray Irick tortured to death, expert says in new filing

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Editor's note: Reporter Dave Boucher was one of seven state-required media witnesses at Irick's execution. 
Billy Ray Irick felt searing pain akin to torture before he died in a Tennessee prison in August, but steps taken in carrying out his execution blocked signs of suffering, according to a doctor who reviewed information about the lethal injection.
In new court filings entered late Thursday amidst an ongoing legal challenge of Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol, Dr. David Lubarsky said statements from people who witnessed the execution indicated the controversial drug midazolam failed to ensure Irick could not feel pain during his death.
As a result, the death row inmate “experienced the feeling of choking, drowning in his own fluids, suffocating, being buried alive, and the burning sensation caused by the injection of the potassium chloride,” Lubarsky wrote in the filing.
The document also says the state did not follow its own lethal injection protocol, raising questio…

Delaware: Dover man on death row resentenced to life in prison

A Dover man on death row for 1st-degree murder has had his death sentence vacated, officials from the Delaware Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday.

Juan J. Ortiz, who had been on death row since 2003, is now sentenced to mandatory life in prison without benefit of probation or parole.

Ortiz had been convicted of 1st-degree murder for the 2001 shooting death of his live-in girlfriend Deborah Clay.

Court documents in that case show Ortiz had shot his girlfriend with a 12 gauge shotgun while she was taking a shower and then set their mobile home on fire.

Last year the Delaware Supreme Court ruled the state's death penalty as unconstitutional. 

The Court declared that ruling as retroactive, meaning the state's death row inmates would be resentenced.

Source: WMDT news, February 22, 2017

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