FEATURED POST

2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

Image
With crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, 2018 was a deeply violent and barbaric year for Saudi Arabia, under his de facto leadership.
PhotoDeera Square is a public space located in front of the Religious Police building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which public executions (usually by beheading) take place. It is sometimes known as Justice Square and colloquially called Chop Chop Square. After Friday prayers, police and other officials clear the area to make way for the execution to take place. After the beheading of the condemned, the head is stitched to the body which is wrapped up and taken away for the final rites.
This year execution rates of 149 executions, shows an increase from the previous year of three executions, indicating that death penalty trends are soaring and there is no reversal of this trend in sight.
The execution rates between 2015-2018 are amongst the highest recorded in the Kingdom since the 1990s and coincide with the ascension of king Salman to the t…

Tennessee high court refuses to block looming execution

Midazolam
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Supreme Court has refused to stay Thursday’s scheduled execution of a convicted child killer while the state’s new lethal injection protocol continues to be challenged on appeal.

The order brings Tennessee within days of killing Billy Ray Irick with a three-drug mixture, barring some last-minute change. Irick, 59, would be the first inmate Tennessee has executed since 2009. He was convicted of the 1985 rape and killing of a 7-year-old Knoxville girl.

Federal public defender Kelley Henry said she will request a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court. She had asked Gov. Bill Haslam to issue a temporary reprieve while the drugs are studied further. But the governor quickly ruled it out, saying he would not intervene.

“My role is not to be the 13th juror or the judge or to impose my personal views, but to carefully review the judicial process to make sure it was full and fair,” Haslam said in a statement Monday. “Because of the extremely thorough judicial review of all of the evidence and arguments at every stage in this case, clemency is not appropriate.”

The Tennessee Supreme Court’s majority wrote that its rules require proving that the lawsuit challenging the lethal injection drugs is likely to succeed on appeal, but Irick’s attorney has failed to do so.

In a ruling late last month, Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle wrote that attorneys for 33 death row inmates, including Irick, didn’t prove that there is a substantially less painful means to carry out the execution or that the drugs the state plans to use would cause the inmate to be tortured to death.

The inmates’ attorneys have appealed to the state Court of Appeals.

For the first time, Tennessee is planning to use midazolam as a sedative, the muscle-relaxer vecuronium bromide and then potassium chloride to stop the heart.

At question is whether midazolam actually is effective in rendering someone unconscious and unable to feel pain from the other two drugs. During the last trial, Henry cited witnesses that described some inmates who still could move, shed a tear, gasp and gulp “like a fish out of water” while being put to death.

“Today’s decision means that Mr. Irick faces a scheduled execution date before the courts have had a chance to thoughtfully consider the challenge to the new lethal injection protocol,” Henry said in a statement Monday.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sharon Lee added that she “will not join in the rush to execute Mr. Irick and would instead grant him a stay to prevent ending his life before his appeal can be adjudicated.”

Attorneys for the state have said the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of midazolam in a three-drug series. They say inmates’ attorneys have the burden of identifying an alternative and haven’t.

If the state’s previous drug, pentobarbital, were available, the state would use it, attorneys for the state say. But death penalty opponents have persuaded companies not to sell pentobarbital for executions, they have argued.

The advocacy group Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty was planning a rally Tuesday against the execution, saying Irick has a lifelong, severe and well-documented mental illness. They also are opposing the use of midazolam.

Source: The Associated Press, Jonathan Mattise, August 6, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Abolish the death penalty in Colorado

Executed for being gay: 13 nations threaten it, 4 do it.

Texas corrections officer dies by suicide at Huntsville prison

Ohio’s Governor Stopped an Execution Over Fears It Would Feel Like Waterboarding

Sri Lanka: Applications sought for hangman’s job

Eisenhower denies the Rosenbergs clemency, Feb. 11, 1953

Egypt executes three political prisoners after ‘unfair trial’

Singapore: Drug trafficker found to be a mere courier, but apex court upholds death penalty

Iran: Three Inmates Executed In Raja’i Shahr And Ardebil Prisons

Australian man facing death penalty in Lebanon over alleged bomb plot pleads for freedom