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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…

UAE: Teenager gets death penalty for stabbing man to death in row over football

SHARJAH - A 19-year-old Pakistani student has been handed the death penalty for stabbing to death a countryman in a row over a football match.

The teenager claimed that he stabbed the victim in self-defence in Bu Taina, Sharjah, in August 2015, after the man attacked him with a knuckle duster.

Sharjah Criminal Court heard that the student lashed out with a small knife that he brought from his home before fleeing the scene.

The victim, Mohammed Dagher Ahmad, was rushed to Al Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah with the knife still lodged in his chest and he later died.

Hospital staff reported the incident to Sharjah Police and the student was arrested.

At a previous hearing in December last year, family of the deceased refused to pardon the killer and demanded the death penalty.

On Wednesday, they got what they wanted but the verdict shocked the teenager’s father.

"It was kids playing at a football match - there was no premeditated intention to kill him. The verdict is harsh, especially because it was self-defence," he said.

The father said he will refrain from telling his wife the verdict.

"I will not tell her the verdict now, she will be devastated. We will file for appeal and hope that the verdict be overturned and limited to serving time in prison instead of the death sentence," he added.

The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days of sentencing.

Source: The National, February 22, 2017

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