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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…

Maldives Could Resume Executions within Hours after 60-year Moratorium

Maldives flag
The Maldivian government could resume executions within hours after a moratorium that has lasted 60 years, Reprieve understands.

Reports suggest that President Abdullah Yameen is preparing to go through with his repeated threat of starting to carry out death sentences before the end of July. 

There are currently three men who have had their death sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court who could be executed immediately. 

Local media have quoted the Home Affair Minister, Azleen Ahmed saying the government have expedited efforts to implement the death penalty in recent days.

The de facto moratorium on the death penalty has been in place in the Maldives for more than 60 years. 

In June 2013 the Parliament rejected a new death penalty law but in one of his first acts after coming to power, President Yameen enacted a regulation reintroducing the death penalty, bypassing Parliament.

Forced confessions, politically-motivated charges, and other abuses are commonplace. Children and those suffering from mental illness have been sentenced to death, in violation of international law.

Commenting, Director of Reprieve, Maya Foa said: “This is a worrying move from a President who is trying to distract from instability in the country and opposition to his leadership. Evidence shows that the death penalty does nothing to reduce violent crime – especially when it is imposed for political convenience and with no due process. This is a naked attempt by President Yameen to suppress dissent and tighten his grip on power. He should listen to the international community, keep the moratorium on executions and start the democratic reforms that are needed to bring stability back to the islands.”

➤ Click HERE to call on President Yameen of the Maldives to not break the six decade moratorium on the death penalty by resuming executions (Reprieve online petition).

Source: Reprieve, July 19, 2017

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