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Lethal injection: can pharma kill the death penalty?

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A recent problematic execution by lethal injection has reignited the debate about the ethics of using medical products to kill. In October, Oklahoma prison inmate John Marion Grant was executed by a lethal injection. Strapped to a gurney, Grant convulsed and vomited – highly unusual for the procedure – after being given midazolam, a sedative and the first of three drugs that are usually administered for lethal injection. Grant was declared unconscious around 15 minutes after receiving the first injection and died roughly six minutes after that. Extreme shortages resulting from the EU’s and pharma companies’ anti-execution moves have seen states seek alternative supplies illicitly from overseas manufacturers , obtain them from less-than-reputable compounding facilities and manufacturers , and experiment with alternative drugs and untested combinations . Now, this botched procedure – Oklahoma’s first lethal injection in six years after a spate of flawed executions in 2014 and 2015 – h

Georgia | Ahmaud Arbery: Three US men guilty of murdering black jogger

From left Travis McMichael his father Gregory McMichael and William Roddie Bryan Jr
Three white men have been found guilty of killing a black jogger last year in a case that became a rallying cry to racial justice protesters.

Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot on 23 February 2020 in a confrontation with Travis and Gregory McMichael and their neighbour, William Bryan.

The defendants said they acted in self-defence during a citizen's arrest; prosecutors said race was a factor.

The men now face minimum sentences of life in prison.

A mainly white jury of 12 people deliberated for about 10 hours before returning their verdict at around midday on Wednesday.

The trio were found guilty of murder, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and criminal intent to commit a felony.

In February the three men will face another trial in a federal hate crimes case, alleging that they targeted Arbery because he was black.

How did Ahmaud Arbery die?


Arbery was out jogging in the afternoon on the outskirts of the coastal city of Brunswick in Georgia.

The elder McMichael, a neighbourhood resident, told police he believed Arbery resembled the suspect in a series of burglaries in the suburban community of Satilla Shores.

Police have said no reports were filed regarding these alleged break-ins, and no stolen property was found in Arbery's possession.

The McMichaels armed themselves with a pistol and a shotgun and pursued Arbery, who was unarmed, in a pickup truck through the neighbourhood. Bryan later joined the pursuit.

The jury heard a 911 call in which the elder McMichael told an operator: "I'm out here in Satilla Shores. There's a black male running down the street."

The younger McMichael testified during the trial that he tried to talk to Arbery while the two were still in their truck and Arbery never responded.

He got out of the truck and fired his shotgun at Arbery during a struggle. Travis McMichael claimed self-defence, saying Arbery grabbed at his gun.

Three shots were fired.

A post-mortem examination showed Arbery had two gunshot wounds in his chest, and a gunshot graze wound on the inside of one of his wrists.

Gregory McMichael, 65, his son Travis, 35, and their neighbour William "Roddie" Bryan, 52, were arrested in May 2020.

Prosecutors alleged that Travis McMichael used a racial epithet and an expletive directed at Arbery as he lay on the ground. The men deny racism.

What was the key footage?


Video was central to this case.

The first key piece of footage was a 36-second mobile phone clip showing Arbery's death.

That was filmed by William Bryan, who was in a vehicle following Arbery, and it surfaced publicly on 5 May 2020.

The clip shows Arbery trying to bypass a pickup truck ahead of him on the road and then struggling with Travis McMichael. There is muffled shouting and three gunshots are heard.

The elder McMichael is seen standing in the bed of the pickup as the pair struggle.

The clip sparked a nationwide outcry and was swiftly followed by criminal charges.

Five days later footage from a surveillance camera emerged, showing a black man in a white T-shirt - believed to be Arbery - at a home construction site shortly before the shooting.

He is seen walking on to the site and looking around for a few minutes before jogging down the street.

During the trial, the site's owner, Larry English Jr, testified that the man in question had not disturbed or damaged his property during the visit.

Mr English said cameras had spotted other people - including children and a white couple - trespassing on his property, but he never authorised the McMichaels to enter his property or confront anyone.

Jurors were also shown police bodycam footage from the aftermath of the shooting.

Source: BBC News, Staff, November 25, 2021


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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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