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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…

Malaysian woman charged with murdering domestic worker, faces the death penalty

Domestic worker
A Malaysian woman was charged Wednesday with the murder of an Indonesian domestic worker who was found with wounds covering her body and was allegedly forced to sleep outside with a dog.

M. A. Ambika, 60, will be sentenced to death if found guilty of murdering Adelina Sau, in a case that has sparked new tensions between Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur over a long-standing flashpoint issue.

About 2.5 million Indonesians work in neighboring Malaysia — both legally and illegally — including many as domestic workers, but there have been repeated cases of abuse over the years.

The victim, in her 20s, died at a Malaysian hospital this month, a day after being rescued by a migrant workers’ protection group.

Her head and face were swollen and she had wounds on her hands and legs. A Malaysian lawmaker said she had been forced to sleep on a porch next to a dog.

Ambika was charged during an appearance at the magistrate’s court in the northern town of Bukit Mertajam with the murder of the domestic worker at her home on February 10, state news agency Bernama reported.

She did not enter a plea, the agency said. A murder conviction carries a mandatory death sentence in Malaysia.

Her daughter, R. Jayavartiny, 32, was charged with employing the victim despite being aware she did not have a valid work permit. She denied the charge.

Local media reported Ambika’s son, who was also initially arrested after the helper’s death, will appear as a witness in the case.

Two people have also been arrested in Indonesia on human trafficking charges in connection with the death of the domestic worker, with police alleging they used forged documents to send the victim to Malaysia.

Indonesia is reportedly considering reinstating a ban on sending domestic workers to Malaysia following the case. Jakarta last imposed a ban in 2009 to 2011.

Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has urged Jakarta not to go ahead with the ban, insisting recently employers who abuse domestic workers will be brought to justice.

“The Malaysian government will never protect any employer who is found to have acted cruelly,” he said.

Source: Agence France-Presse, February 21, 2018


Father in Malaysia charged with murder of baby girl


A young father in Malaysia was charged on Wednesday (Feb 21) with the murder of his 1 1/2-month-old baby girl last week.

Muhamad Firdaus Saidon, 22, allegedly caused the death of his daughter, Nurul Ain Umairah Muhammad, at their house in Bukit Tengah at 10.45am last Thursday.

Nurul is said to have died following suspected abuse, and a post-mortem revealed that she had a severe brain haemorrhage and multiple injuries on her body.

The baby girl, who was born on Dec 30 last year, died while on the way to hospital, the Star Online reported, adding that she had bruises and abrasion marks all over her body and bite marks on her arms.

There were also signs that her ribs and right arm had been fractured, and that her left hip also showed signs of recent fracture, said the report, adding that the baby's injuries were believed to have been caused by blunt objects.

Her father, a lorry driver, merely nodded in understanding when the charge was read to him before magistrate Muhamad Anas Mahadzir. No plea was recorded.

His 22-year-old wife, who had been arrested with him, has been released on police bond and will appear as a witness during the trial, the New Straits Times reported.

The charge, under Section 302 of Malaysia's Penal Code, carries a mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

The case will be heard again on Apr 19. Chemical and post-mortem reports will also be submitted then.

Source: channelnewsasia.com, February 22, 2018


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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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