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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…

Psychological Association of the Philippines joins call against death penalty revival

In a statement, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) said: "Capital punishment does not deliver on its hopes for better justice, closure for all parties concerned, and better crime prevention. It does not give full cognizance of the implications of its irreversible effect, the reality of the limits and inevitable class discrimination of the judicial process, and the misconception of closure and justice itself."

The group said "the practice of capital punishment point[s] to its discriminatory nature," adding that majority who were meted the death penalty have "incomes below minimum wage, unable to afford the legal services to defend themselves in a long process."

PAP also pointed out "judicial flaws" that include "incompetent counsel, inadequate investigatory services, or even outright police and prosecutorial violations of judicial procedures." It also noted that "torture or ill treatment of suspects to coerce confessions or implicate others during investigation is common in the country."

"History also points to gross misapplications of the death penalty law, with vulnerable individuals protected by Philippine law from capital punishment finding themselves on death row," PAP also said.

To recall, the bill which was approved by the House on March 1 via voice voting only lists drug-related offenses as crimes punishable by death: the importation, sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution, transportation and manufacturing of drugs, and maintenance of a drug den.

Source: Business World Online, March 7, 2017

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