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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: Two Executions in Urmia

Public execution in Iran
Iran Human Rights (Jul 4, 2018): Two prisoners were executed at Urmia Central Prison.

According to close sources, on the morning of Wednesday, July 4, two prisoners, sentenced to Qisas, were executed at Urmia central Prison. 

It should be noted that three prisoners were scheduled to be executed today, but one of them was able to win the consent of the plaintiffs at the last moment.

The execution of these prisoners has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

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.

Considering the fact that the number of drug-related executions has been reduced in recent months due to the enforcement of the new drug law in 2018, most of the executed prisoners were those sentenced to Qisas (retribution in kind). 

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 5, 2018


Iran reduces death penalty, life sentence against 1700 drug convicts


Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, the Tehran prosecutor general, announced on Tuesday that 1,700 sentences of narcotic-related cases have been commuted from capital punishment and life sentence to less severe forms of punishment.

The change in the law on narcotics-related punishments have revolutionized the country's policies in fighting against narcotics, Jafari-Dolatabadi told a meeting on social harms caused by narcotics, IRNA reported.

He further said out of 3000 requests made to commute narcotics-related sentences, 1700 have been reviewed and 1300 remain to be reviewed very soon.

Source: Tehran Times, July 4, 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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