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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…

Scalia family donates late justice’s papers to Harvard Law School Library

US President Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia (right) on July 7, 1986
US President Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia (right) on July 7, 1986
The family of the late Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, has announced that it will donate his papers to the Harvard Law School Library.

The bulk of the Antonin Scalia Collection consists of judicial papers from his tenure on the Supreme Court and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The Collection also includes papers from earlier in the Justice’s career, including his prior government service in the U.S. Department of Justice, the Administrative Conference of the United States, and the Office of Telecommunications Policy, as well as his academic career as a law professor at the University of Virginia, the University of Chicago, and elsewhere. Various other materials, including drafts of speeches and articles, correspondence, and records pertaining to his professional appearances and awards, will also be included.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to the family of Justice Scalia for donating these papers to the Harvard Law School Library,” said Martha Minow, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “Justice Scalia will be remembered as one of the most influential jurists in American history — he changed how the Court approaches statutory interpretation, and in countless areas introduced new ways of thinking about the Constitution and the role of the Court that will remain important for years to come. His papers will be a tremendous resource for students, scholars, and the general public for generations to come.”

The Antonin Scalia Collection will be made available for research on a schedule agreed upon by the Scalia family and the Harvard Law School Library. Materials pertaining to Justice Scalia’s work on the Supreme Court and the D.C. Circuit Court will begin to be opened for research in 2020, although materials regarding specific cases will not be opened during the lifetime of other Justices or judges who participated in the case. 

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Source: Harvard Law Today, March 6, 2017

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