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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…

India: Punjab adopts death penalty for rape of below-12 girls

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Besides death penalty for rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the criminal law ordinance amended the Indian Penal Code to enhance minimum punishment for rape from the existing 7 to 10 years

The Punjab cabinet on Wednesday decided to extend to the state 2 ordinances relating to cases involving rapes and fugitive economic offenders, as recently promulgated by the Union government.

The meeting approved republication of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 of the centre, to make the law on rape more stringent, in the Punjab gazette. Further, in consonance with the finance ministry's proposal of promulgating the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018, the state cabinet gave its nod to republish the aforesaid ordinance in the official gazette of the state.

Besides death penalty for rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the criminal law ordinance amended the Indian Penal Code to provide for enhancement of minimum punishment for rape from the existing 7 to 10 years. The minimum punishment for the offence of rape of a girl child under 16 years of age has been fixed at life imprisonment, as against the earlier provision of 20 years.

The Code of Criminal Procedure has also been amended under the ordinance to ensure mandatory completion of investigation in rape cases within 2 months. Trial of rape cases is also required to be completed in 2 months, with a total limit of 6 months fixed for disposal of appeals in all rape cases. The provision of anticipatory bail to the person accused of rape or gangrape of a girl under 12 years or 16 years of age has also been done away. Further the high court or the court of sessions, before deciding the regular bail applications, will give notice of 15 days to the public prosecutor to appear for hearing of the application, where presence of a person authorised by victim shall be mandatory.

As far as the fugitive economic offenders are concerned, the ordinance empowers the authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders, such as loan defaulters, who flee the country. The ordinance was promulgated by the Centre in the wake of the recent financial frauds, especially the Rs 13,000-crore loan scam wherein Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fled the country.

Source: Hindustan Times, June 27, 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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