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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…

Juvenile Offender Executed in Iran

Abolfazl Chazani Sharahi
Iran Human Rights; June 28, 2018: According to Amnesty International sources, Abolfazl Chazani Sharahi, a juvenile offender charged with murder at the age of 15, was executed on Wednesday, June 27 at Qom Central Prison. 

This is the fourth juvenile offender executed in Iran since the beginning of 2018.

Execution of juvenile offenders in Iran continues despite repeated criticism by the international community.

Iran Human Rights calls on the international community, especially European countries, to act in order to stop the execution of juveniles in Iran. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson for IHR, said, “The friendly relations between Iran and European countries must lead to improving the situation of the human rights in Iran. Stopping the execution of juvenile offenders must be a precondition for the friendly relationship between Iran and the European countries.”

Iran Human Rights had earlier reported warned against the possible execution of the juvenile offender Abolfazl Chazani who was sentenced to death on the charge of murder during a street fight.

Abolfazl Chazani Sharahi, son of Asghar, was born on January 19, 1999, and he was only 15 at the time of the crime.

Abolfazl was examined by a forensic physician at the request of his public defender on July 20, 2014. According to the report, “The defendant, 15 years and five months old, committed murder in the winter last year and he is mentally mature and understands the nature of his action (murder).”

According to an estimation by Iran Human Rights, currently, more than 100 juvenile offenders are on death row in Iran’s prisons. Iran Human Rights has recently published reports regarding the danger of the execution of some of several juvenile offenders including Mehdi Khazaeian, Pouria Tabaei, Mohammad Reza Haddadi, and Mohammad Kalhor.

Iran is one of the few countries that punish crimes committed during adolescence by death. Meanwhile, based on Article 91 of the new Islamic Penal Code, approved in 2013, judges can potentially deny issuing a death sentence for juveniles who do not understand the nature of their crime.

It is worth mentioning that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Iran has ratified, clearly bans execution and life imprisonment of juveniles. 

In 2017, at least five juvenile offenders were executed in Iran.

Source: Iran Human Rights, June 28, 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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