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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…

Ghana has no hangman to execute death row convicts

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Director of Administration at the Prison Service, Stephen Coffie, has revealed that Ghana currently has no hangman to execute death sentences. 

According to him, the last professionally trained hangman Ghana had has long left the system and is yet to be replaced.

The last time the death sentence was used on convicts was in 1993, during former president Jerry John Rawlings' era.

Twelve people in total were executed for crimes ranging from armed robbery and murder.

However, it has now emerged that there is no more qualified hangman in Ghana to execute death sentences even if the need be. "The death sentence yes, we know is still in our constitution. The hangman's system is still blazing in Nsawam but nobody can operate it today.

The last person, the professional who used to handle that facility has long left the system and nobody has oiled or serviced that equipment," the Director of Administration at the Prison Service, Stephen Coffie, is quoted as saying by Myjoyonline.com.


The death sentence in Ghana's laws was one of the major issues under discussion after Amnesty International released its report on the death penalty situation across the world, and the group is calling for a constitutional review of the country's laws.

But the latest comment from the Director of Administration at the Prison Service will come as a huge relief to the human rights group, as they still battle to repeal the death sentence from Ghana's laws.

Source: GhanaWeb, July 15, 2017

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