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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…

Indonesia’s Narcotics Agency chief suggests recruiting ghosts as prison guards since they can’t be bribed

Anti-drugs czar Budi Waseso
Anti-drugs czar Budi Waseso announced plans to guard a death-row prison
island with crocodiles. He now mulls adding tigers, piranhas and... ghosts.
Stories about drug kingpins operating their illicit businesses from inside Indonesia’s notoriously corrupt prisons pop up frequently, severely undermining the credibility of the country’s war on drugs. Budi Waseso, the head of Indonesia’s National Narcotics Agency (BNN), has often acknowledged this as a problem and recently suggested a supernatural solution to the problem – having prisons guarded by ghosts.

“Ghosts cannot be bribed, except perhaps with frankincense,” Budi said yesterday at BNN headquarters, as quoted by MetroTV.

Now, to be fair, we must note that the media reports make it clear that the BNN chief was making a joke when he said that.

However, we must also remind our readers that this is the same Budi Waseso who previously pushed for the creation of a prison exclusively for drug criminals that would be built on an island and guarded by hungry crocodiles.

Referring to that, Budi was also quoted yesterday as saying, “Yes, I’ve often said that if you do not believe in humans, we will work with crocodiles. If possible, ghosts would be the guards.”

And, as he often made clear during the months in which his crocodile prison scheme was earning him mocking headlines around the world, he was not joking but totally serious about wanting to replace human guards with the incorruptible giant reptiles (as well as piranhas and tigers).

Budi said that BNN data showed that 50% of drug trafficking in Indonesia is controlled from inside prisons and blamed the lack of human resources from the government for allowing it to continue (for example, Cipinang Prison in Jakarta has 20 security officers overseeing 3,730 prisoners, which is perhaps how they failed to notice the luxurious AC and wi-fi equipped cell utilized by one elite prisoner).

The BNN chief also reiterated the seriousness of his crocodile prison proposal recently during an interview with ABC News Australia during which he (surprisingly) said he did not agree with the way that Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was conducting his country’s bloody war on drugs, but did recommend that the Indonesian government increase the use of the death penalty for drug traffickers as a means of deterrence.

Source: Coconuts Jakarta, July 26, 2017

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