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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…

Pakistan special court to resume trial in Musharraf’s treason case early next month

Former president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf
Besides facing a high-profile treason case, Gen. Musharraf has been declared absconder due to his persistent failure to appear before the special trial court.

A three-judge special court formed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court for conducting high treason trial of former military ruler and dictator Pervez Musharraf is set to resume its hearing early next month, a media report said on Saturday.

Gen. Musharraf (74), who has been residing in Dubai since March 2016 after leaving the county on medical grounds, is facing the trail for subverting the Constitution on November 3, 2007.

Lahore High Court (LHC) Chief Justice Yawar Ali, who heads the special court, will stay in Islamabad/Rawalpindi from July 2 to 4 to hear the treason case, ‘The Express Tribune’ reported.

The high treason case was planned to be restarted earlier but one member of the special court was abroad, the report said, quoting sources.

The special court, formed in November 2013 by the Supreme Court on request of the former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, had to be reconstituted as its former head and Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Yahya Afridi recused himself from hearing the case on March 29.

On April 7, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar proposed a fresh composition of the three-judge special court, nominating Ali as its head. Ali is set to retire on October 22 this year.

The former PML-N led government, however, did not notify the new bench during its tenure and the caretaker government had to issue a notification after taking charge.

Recently, the Supreme Court had summoned Gen. Musharraf, who has been living in UAE for two years, regarding his disqualification, but he did not show up, prompting the apex court to bar him from contesting in the July 25 general elections.

Besides facing a high-profile treason case, Gen. Musharraf has been declared absconder due to his persistent failure to appear before the special trial court.

The former president was indicted in March 2014 on treason charges for imposing emergency in the country which led to the confinement of a number of superior court judges in their houses and sacking of over 100 judges.

A conviction for high-profile treason carries the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan from 1999 to 2008, has sought adequate security from the government for his return from the UAE to appear before the special court.

Source: PTI, June 30, 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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