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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…

Egypt court upholds 10 death sentences over football riot

Port Said, Egypt
An Egyptian court upheld Monday death sentences against 10 people convicted over rioting that claimed 74 lives at a stadium in Port Said in 2012, judicial and security officials said. 

The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June 2015 by another court.

The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June 2015 by another court.

The court also upheld sentences of life imprisonment for 10 people and 5 years for 12 others, including Port Said's security chief at the time, said the officials who requested anonymity as they are unauthorised to speak to the media.

Monday's ruling was welcomed by relatives of those who died in the rioting, who celebrated outside the court in Cairo.

The riot, the country's deadliest sports-related violence, broke out when fans of home team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly clashed after a premier league match between the 2 clubs.

Ultras -- hardcore football supporters usually blamed by the authorities for violence -- were at the forefront of the 2011 uprising that unseated longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

Source: al-monitor.com, February 21, 2017

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