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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…

Saudi Supreme Court upholds death penalty for 14 in Al-Awamiya cell and 15 for spying for Iran

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The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence issued by the Specialist Criminal Court and supported by the Specialist Penal Appeals Court against 14 Saudis including a security man considered a traitor and 2 wanted militants on the "list of 23" in what is known as the Al-Awamiya cell.

The accused are facing the death penalty due to their involvement in terrorist crimes in Al-Qatif, Saihat, Al-Awamiya and Al-Jash in the Eastern Province. 

They carried out over 50 armed terrorist attacks on Al-Awamiya and Al-Qatif police stations and Al-Qatif Prison. 

They also targeted several checkpoints and 20 security patrols. These resulted in the martyrdom of several security men and injury to scores.

In another development, Okaz has learned that the Specialist Penal Appeals Court has upheld the verdicts issued by the Specialist Criminal Court against the members of a spy ring accused of espionage for Iranian Intelligence. 

The verdicts include the death sentence for 15 Saudis and various jail terms ranging from 6 months to 25 years against 14 Saudis and Iranians. Meanwhile, a Saudi and an Afghani were acquitted.

All the sessions of the Specialist Criminal Court in Riyadh on national security-related cases are open to the local media and representatives of diplomatic and rights bodies.

Source: Saudi Gazette, July 27, 2017

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