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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…

Malaysia: 25-year-old property agent sent to the gallows for drug trafficking

Gallows
A woman could not hold back her tears at the High Court here today when her son Hari Singh Kanda was sentenced to the gallows for trafficking 32.3 grams of heroin and 18.1 grams of monoacetylmorphine last year.

The mother, who sat at the court's public gallery was calm when Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah read out his judgement after hearing submissions from both defendant and prosecution team today.

However, the woman in her 50s, burst into tear after Shariff meted out the sentence against the 25-year-old property agent after reading the 131-pages of judgement sheet.

Hari Singh, clad in a grey shirt, put up a calm demeanor and several people, believed to be his family members and friends, got up and hugged him after the proceeding.

He was charged under Section 39(B)(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries the death penalty upon conviction.

Shariff said the defendant had failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.

"I am satisfied that the testimonies from 10 prosecution's witnesses were true.

"I do not believe that the accused was a victim or that he was framed by the police," he said.

Shariff said the accused had indeed held a red plastic bag which contained the contraband item (drugs).

"The police seized the red plastic bag from his right hand," he added.

The accused represented by lawyers Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent and Datuk Rajpal Singh when pleaded for lenience sentence said it was the 1st offence committed by their client.

The court then allowed a stay of execution pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Nazneen Zulkifli prosecuted.

Source: New Straits Times, July 31, 2017

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