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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…

Iran: Six executions in one day

Public execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (Jun 18, 2018): Reports suggest that after the execution of Mohammad Salas, five other prisoners who were sentenced to death on murder charges were also hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison today. One of the prisoners was charged with the murder of an eight-month-old baby named Benita.

According to a close source, on the morning of Monday, June 18, six prisoners, including Mohammad Salas, were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to the official news agency of the Judiciary, Mizan, one of the prisoners who were executed today was charged with the murder of an eight-month-old baby named Benita Qal’enoiy during a car theft.

The state-run news agency, Javan, reported, “The defendant, Mohammad Vafaiy, stole a car that belonged to Benita Qal’enoiy’s father while the eight-month-old baby was in the back seat. Ultimately, he leaves the car in the street which leads to the baby’s death due to high temperature and lack of oxygen.”

The defendant said that he went to the police reported the incident a few hours later “but they didn’t pay any attention.”

Although the statements of the defendant were denied by the police spokesman, Tehran’s prosecutor confirmed that the location of the stolen car carrying Benita, was informed to the police and they “should have” found the car “earlier”.

A close source told IHR that the executions of Mohammad Vafaei and four other prisoners who were charged with murder were carried out an hour after Mohammad Salas’ execution. 

The four other prisoners have not been identified so far and the state-run media have not announced their execution.

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 240 of the 517 execution sentences in 2017 were implemented due to murder charges. 

There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing a death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.

Source: Iran Human Rights, June 18, 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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