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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…

Punjab should have death penalty for drug traders, says minister Navjot Sidhu

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"On the lines of neighbouring Haryana, where it has been decided to have capital punishment for rape of girls aged 12 or below, Punjab should make such a law for drug traders."

Claiming that the Congress government in Punjab has reduced the problem of drug abuse, local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Monday suggested that the next step should be to have the provision for capital punishment to traders of narcotics.

Speaking at a rally at Zira, 35 km from district headquarters Ferozepur, he said, "Such anti-social elements should have more fear of law; hence, on the lines of neighbouring Haryana, where it has been decided to have capital punishment for rape of girls aged 12 or below, Punjab should make such a law for drug traders." Haryana's cabinet has okayed such a change in section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, but it needs further ratification.

"I will propose death penalty to drug traders in the next cabinet meeting," Sidhu said.

On other issues, such as encroachment of government land, Sidhu said he had asked chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to set up a "reinforcement wing" to tackle the menace. "To keep a check on illegal construction and loss of revenue, satellite mapping will prove very effective," he added, citing that, "in Ludhiana alone, earlier property tax was collected from 90,000 properties; but after satellite mapping the number increased to more than 3 lakh".

Meanwhile, in a political developement, Sidhu proposed the name of Inderjit Singh Zira, a former minister and the father of local MLA Kulbir Zira, as party nominee from Khadoor Sahib seat in the Lok Sabha poll due next year. On poll promises, he said, "The Congress government is trying hard within 10 months of its formation to give jobs to the youth, while, on the contrary, the Akalis and their goons snatched businesses, be it contracts, transport or liquor."

In response to a demand by locals to restart the sugar mill, Sidhu said he would take up the matter. He also gave a grant of Rs 6.1 crore for various areas of Zira assembly constituency.

Source: Hindustan Times, March 6, 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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