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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…

Arkansas' Highest Court Orders Release of Execution Drug Labels

Midazolam
Arkansas' highest court has ruled state prison officials must identify the manufacturer of one of the lethal injection drugs they plan to use to put a convicted murderer to death next week.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Latest on Arkansas' planned execution of convicted murderer Jack Greene on Nov. 9 (all times local):

1:25 p.m.

Arkansas' highest court has ruled state prison officials must identify the manufacturer of one of the lethal injection drugs they plan to use to put a convicted murderer to death next week.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld part of a lower court's ruling ordering the Department of Correction to release the labels for its supply of midazolam, one of three drugs Arkansas uses in its lethal injection process. The court said the labels must be released, but said a Pulaski County judge must determine what identifying information other than the manufacturer can be withheld.

A Pulaski County judge in September ordered the state to release the labels without any information withheld, but justices halted that ordered while the state appealed. Arkansas law keeps the supplier of its execution drugs secret.

11:19 a.m.

A lawyer for an Arkansas death row inmate set for execution next week is telling a judge that the state's prisons director doesn't have the expertise to decide whether the man should live or die.

Jack Greene's lawyers say doctors should have a greater say on whether Greene understands why he is to be executed. Arkansas law gives the prisons chief's opinion considerable weight.

Television station KATV reported Greene and lawyer John Williams were in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Thursday hoping to stop the Nov. 9 execution. Assistant attorney general Kathryn Henry said any change in the law should come from legislators.

If Greene receives a lethal injection next week, it would be Arkansas' first execution since it put four men to death in an eight-day period in April.

Source: The Associated Press, November 2, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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