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

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…

ILGA 2017 Report: A Quarter Of The World’s Population Thinks Gay People Should Be In Prison

Indonesia's Aceh province: 80 strokes of the cane for having gay sex
A new report from the International LGBTI Association reveals troubling attitudes on the global level.

Homosexuality is illegal in some 72 countries worldwide, but a new study suggests that number would be significantly higher if everyday citizens had their way. 

The International LGBTI Association (ILGA)’s 2017 Global Attitudes Survey found that about one-fourth of the world’s population believes homosexual behavior should be a criminal offense.

Of course that percentage fluctuated greatly among the 77 countries and territories surveyed: In the U.S. and Canada, for example, only about 19% favor criminalizing same-sex behavior. In Australia, it’s just 15%.

In the the Middle East, the average was much higher: 36%. And overall, in the 15 African countries surveyed, 45% agreed with keeping legal prohibitions on homosexuality. 

A different survey indicated that in Nigeria, where sex acts between men carry a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, 90% of the population supported keeping the ban.

The full report, conducted in partnership with Viacom, Logo and SAGE, is the largest investigation of its kind, reaching more than 116,000 subjects and delving into a variety of views and experiences.

The data also suggests solutions need to come both on the political and the personal front: Of those who supported laws against homosexuality, for example, only 25% stated they actually knew a gay person.

“Knowing someone in these communities has significant positive effect on attitudes towards them,” says report co-author Aengus Carroll. “At the global level, 41% of respondents know someone who is romantically attracted to people of the same sex, and 35% of respondents directly know someone who dresses, acts or identifies as another sex than the one they were born… When people know each other first-hand, a destigmatizing effect can be produced, and that counters the stereotyping too often perpetuated by religious and political leaders and the media.”

Source: New Now Next, Dan Avery, Nov. 2, 2017

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