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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…

Rajasthan passes bill to award death penalty for rapists of girls below 12 years of age

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In a significant development, the Rajasthan State Assembly on Friday cleared an amendment bill for death penalty for the culprits in the rape cases involving girls below 12 years of age. With this, Rajasthan has become the second state after Madhya Pradesh to pass the bill.

The Rajasthan government on Tuesday tabled the bill to award death penalty to those found guilty of raping girls below 12 years of age.

Under Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018, section 376-AA in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) -

Whoever commits rape on a woman up to twelve years of age shall be punished with death, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years but which may extend to imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life, and shall also be liable to fine.

A similar provision, 376-DD, was added for gang-rape.

In the 'Statement of Objects and Reasons' for bringing in the Bill, the Rajasthan government said, "It has come to the notice of the State Government that the offence relating to child rape and child gang-rape are taking place every now and then. Such crimes are heinous and turn the life of the victim into hell."

The statement added, "It is the prime duty of the society and the State to protect its offspring against all odds and give them an environment conducive to their mental and physical development. Therefore, such offences need to be dealt with an iron hand. The State Government is of the considered view that to protect the girl child up to twelve years of age from such heinous crimes, a deterrent punishment which may extend to the death of the offender should be provided for."

Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, in a reply to the Budget debate in the Assembly in February, had announced that the state government will bring in more stringent punishment "including capital punishment", for the rape of girls below 12 years.

Source: India Today, March 9, 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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