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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…

Egypt sentences 28 to death for prosecutor’s slaying

Egyptian prison
Hesham Barakat was assassinated in a Cairo car bombing in June 2015

Cairo: An Egyptian court Saturday sentenced 28 people to death by hanging after convicting them of involvement in the murder of the country’s chief prosecutor Hesham Barakat in a bombing more than two years ago.

Fifteen co- defendants were given life sentences and eight others jail terms for 15 years each. The Cairo Criminal Court, which heard the case, also handed 15 other accused 10 years in prison each.

The court dropped the charges against one accused who had died in jail during the trial that started in June last year.

All verdicts can be appealed.

Last month, the court recommended death sentences for 30 defendants in the case. 

The verdicts were later referred to the grand mufti, Egypt’s top religious authority, to approve or reject-- a routine procedure in the mostly Muslim country for death sentences.

Barakat was assassinated on June 29, 2015 when a car bomb went off near his convoy in the Cairo quarter of Heliopolis. He was 64.

He was the highest Egyptian official to be killed in a wave of militant violence that has hit Egypt since the 2013 army’s toppling of Islamist president Mohammad Mursi following massive street protests against his rule.

Egypt blamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian Hamas group of standing behind Barakat’s killing, charges both movements have denied.

Over the past four years, hundreds of the now-outlawed Brotherhood have been detained and jailed in different cases on charges of inciting or involvement in violence in Egypt.

Source: Gulf News, July 22, 2017

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