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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…

Botswana has no intention to abolish death penalty – Khama

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Botswana has no intention to abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on its implementation, President Ian Khama said on Tuesday.President Ian Khama told heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Gaborone that his government is unfazed by international calls to abolish the death penalty.

Noting that the matter has aroused interest in certain quarters, Khama said Botswana maintains the position that the death penalty is a criminal justice issue and its application on the most serious crimes is the sovereign right of individual States.

“It is important to note that death penalty is not imposed arbitrarily in Botswana. In short, the application of the death penalty follows a thorough and exhaustive legal process that meets the basic standards of a fair trial, and the penalty is imposed for the most serious crimes as understood under international law,” Khama said.

He added: “In this regard, as Government, we do not intend to either abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on its application.”

Human rights activists and the European Union have pleaded with Botswana to impose a moratorium on death penalty and hold a national referendum to establish if it was in favour of the practice.

Source: APA, March 14, 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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