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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…

Man sentenced to death for killing Coptic vendor in Egypt

Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
Cairo: An Egyptian court in the coastal city of Alexandria on Thursday sentenced an Islamist militant to death by hanging for murdering a Coptic alcohol vendor in the street earlier this year, legal sources said.

The city’s Criminal Court unanimously issued the verdict against the defendant identified as Adel Abdul Noor, the sources added.

The ruling, which can be appealed, was passed after approval from the Grand Mufti, Egypt’s top Islamic official, a routine procedure in cases involving death sentences in Egypt.

In January, Abdul Noor was captured on a surveillance camera attacking with a knife Yousuf Lami, who owned an alcohol store in the district of Khaled ibn Al Walid in eastern Alexandria.

Later, the 50-year-old suspect was arrested in a deserted house in Alexandria.

He confessed to the murder at the trial that started last month and refused to have a lawyer to defend him. Abdul Noor, however, denied links to any militant group.

The murder came weeks after a suicide bomber attacked a mass service in a chapel adjoining the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo, killing 29 worshippers.

Daesh claimed the assault, the deadliest against Egypt’s Christian minority in decades.

Egypt’s Christians, known as Coptics, have long complained about persecution and attacks by Islamist extremists.

Hundreds of Christians last week fled North Sinai after radical Islamists executed some of them.

Christians staunchly back President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, who as defence minister led the army’s 2013 ouster of president Mohammad Mursi following mass protests against his rule.

Dozens of churches across Egypt were attacked by Mursis’s backers in the violent protests that gripped the mostly Muslim country following his overthrow.

In 2014, Al Sissi became the first Egyptian president to go to the Cathedral in central Cairo to congratulate Christians on the Coptic Christmas.

Source: Gulf News, March 9, 2017

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