FEATURED POST

Tennessee execution: Billy Ray Irick tortured to death, expert says in new filing

Image
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…

No hangman for Zimbabwe: Recruitment blocked

Alfred Mashamba
Alfred Mashamba
Dozens of job desperate seekers have applied for the vacant post of Zimbabwe’s hangman, but the country’s vice-president has blocked the recruitment process because he narrowly escaped the hangman’s noose as a teenager during the liberation struggle in the 1960s.

Virginia Mabhiza, a permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, says the post, which fell vacant more than 10 years ago, has not been filled since Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who doubles as Justice minister, is strongly opposed to the death penalty.

The vice-president’s refusal to appoint a hangman is stoking controversy in a country whose constitution still upholds capital punishment. More than 70 convicts are currently on death row.

Mabhiza says more than five aspiring hangmen have applied for the job since 2013. Previous reports show that more than 20 men have eyed the post – no females have sought the unusual job.

“The hangman’s post is yet to be filled and we continue to receive applications. The constitution still allows the death penalty,” Mabhiza said.

Last year, there were reports that a “suitable candidate” had been found for the post of hangman. It now emerges that the vice-president is blocking the appointment.

One of the men vying for the job is Alfred Mashamba, a bearded 47-year-old who says he is growing increasingly impatient over delays in recruiting a hangman.

“I guarantee, I will diligently execute my duties,” Mashamba has vowed. “If you have lost someone dear to you because of murder, someone who the whole family looked up to, then you will understand my decision,” Mashamba adds.

Mashamba says when he was a young boy, his father was forced to quit his job and look after his ailing mother. An uncle then took over the responsibility of fending for the extended family. Tragically, the uncle was murdered and the killers were never found.

Before the family had found closure on the uncle’s murder, another killing rocked the clan. “Last year, my niece was raped and murdered after she had gone to sell fresh milk to fend for her family,” Mashamba said.

Officials would not reveal to African Independent whether Mashamba is one of the frontrunners for the job. Jobs are difficult to find in Zimbabwe, where the International Labour Organisation estimates the rate of formal unemployment at 95 percent.

Mnangagwa (70), one of the senior Zanu-PF securocrats accused of spearheading the 1980s genocide which claimed the lives of 20 000 civilians from the minority Ndebele tribe, is considered a leading contender in the race to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

During his early days as a political activist against the colonial regime in the 1960s he was sentenced to death for participating in the bombing of a Rhodesian train. He was spared the noose after arguing that he was only 17 years old. Instead of going to the gallows, he served 10 years in prison for sabotage. He has vowed to resist any attempt to hang condemned killers.

Source: African Independent, Brezhnev Malaba, July 24, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Idaho Department Of Correction Can Keep Lethal Injection Drugs Secret, Judge Says

Double Dose: 2 executions in Texas next week

Florida: Trial for man accused of throwing daughter from Pinellas County bridge delayed

Virginia: Convicted killer, already facing death penalty, admits slaying 2 girls in Illinois in 2005

Belarus: the Last Refuge for the Death Penalty in Europe

Malaysian death sentences commuted for 3 Mexican brothers

'No Time To Sleep' to depict last day of death penalty inmate

The Machinery of Death Is Back on the Docket

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Death penalty sought for SC man accused of ‘brutally’ molesting, killing toddler