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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…

Mennonite woman agrees to testify in death penalty case

Greta Lindecrantz
According to Greta Lindecrantz's attorney, Robert Ray's defense team believes that testifying for the prosecution could actually save Ray's life.

A Mennonite woman who refused to testify in a death penalty case on the grounds that capital punishment violated her religious beliefs has reversed course, and has now agreed to take the stand.

According to a release from Greta Lindecrantz’s attorney, Mari Newman, the criminal defense investigator now feels that her beliefs compel her to testify. 

Newman says this comes after Lindecrantz learned that Robert Ray’s current legal team believes that not obtaining her testimony would actually hurt Ray’s chances of avoiding the death penalty.

Lindecrantz was jailed on February 26 because she declined to testify for the prosecution seeking to uphold the death sentence of Robert Ray, who was convicted of two murders in 2009. 

Ray’s current defense team is trying to argue that the defense in his original trial was ineffective. Lindecrantz was an investigator for the defense in that trial.

Newman says Lindecrantz’s Notice of Intent to Testify was filed Saturday.

Source: 9News.com, March 10, 2018


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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