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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…

Madras HC confirms Chennai techie's death penalty for raping, killing 7-yr-old

S Dhasvanth
The high court upheld the February 19 order of the Mahila court, awarding death penalty to S Dhasvanth, an engineering graduate.

Chennai: The Madras High Court on Tuesday confirmed the death sentence awarded to a 23-year-old techie by a lower court for the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl here in 2017.

A division bench of justices S Vimala and Ramathilagam upheld the February 19 order of the Mahila court in neighbouring Chengalpattu, awarding death penalty to S Dhasvanth, an engineering graduate.

The bench was dismissing an appeal filed by Dhasvanth, who had challenged the trial court order convicting him in the rape-and-murder case of the seven-year-old girl, who was his neighbour, in February 2017.

The crime had triggered a public outcry and Dhasvanth had faced the ire of a group of women, who assaulted him when he was brought to the lower court for trial.

According to the prosecution, the convict had lured the girl into his flat at Mugalivakkam, using a dog, and strangled her to death after raping her.

The convict had then dumped the body in a travel bag and subsequently, burnt it on a highway.

He was held guilty for offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

Mahila Court judge Justice P Velmurugan, while holding Dhasvanth guilty, had referred to the sensational Nirbhaya gangrape-and-murder case in Delhi and said the instant case merited a death sentence.

Incidentally, the high court verdict came a day after the Supreme Court dismissed the pleas filed by three of the four convicts in the Nirbhaya case, seeking a review of the top court's verdict upholding the death penalty awarded to them for the gangrape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedic student on December 16, 2012.

In his appeal, Dhasvanth had contended that the trial court judge had grossly erred in finding him guilty on the basis of conjectures and surmises not amounting to evidence.

During the pendency of the case, Dhasvanth was also charged with the murder of his mother.

While out on bail in the rape-and-murder case, he had allegedly killed his mother and fled with her jewellery in December last year, before being caught in Mumbai. The proceedings in the case are pending in a court.

Source: Press Trust of India, July 10, 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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