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Showing posts from November, 2022

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USA | Lethal Injections Are Crueler Than Most People Imagine. I’ve Seen the Evidence Firsthand.

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Alabama is pausing the use of the execution method after two botched attempts, but physicians need to refuse to ever participate in making them possible. Lethal injection is not a medical act, but it impersonates one. The method of judicial execution works by shuttling medicines, repurposed as poison, directly into a vein via an intravenous catheter. Intravenous use is a ubiquitous method for drug and fluid delivery that most anyone might recognize, either by direct experience when sick or by observation in others when others are sick. According to the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, punishment cannot be cruel, and when lethal injection causes death, the outward result can be extraordinarily mild and bloodless. I speak from experience. As a physician, I was invited by Georgia prisoner Marcus Wellons to watch his execution on June 17, 2014. Lethal injection is a highly curated event; even my medical trained eye could detect very little. Wellons died quietly and quickly. I’ve

U.S. | Alabama won't try lethal injection again on "execution survivor" Alan Eugene Miller, but it may try new method

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Montgomery, Alabama — Alabama won't seek another lethal injection date for an inmate whose September execution had been halted because of problems establishing an intravenous line , according to the terms of a settlement agreement approved on Monday. The state agreed to never use lethal injection again as an execution method to put Alan Eugene Miller to death. Any future effort to execute Miller will be done by nitrogen hypoxia, an execution method authorized in Alabama, but one that has never been used to carry out a death sentence in the U.S.  There is currently no protocol in place for using nitrogen hypoxia.   On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker Jr. approved the settlement agreement in a lawsuit brought by Miller seeking to prevent another lethal injection attempt.  Miller had argued that the state lost paperwork stating he picked nitrogen hypoxia as his execution method and then subjected him to torture during the failed execution attempt.  At the time, Miller&#

UN demands Saudi Arabia abolish the death penalty

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Executions carried out daily where Saudi authorities lifted 21-month unofficial moratorium, UN High Commissioner The United Nations (UN) and human rights organizations have called on Saudi authorities to abolish the death penalty for drug-related crimes in Saudi Arabia. International rights organizations have expressed concern over the Saudi government’s decision to impose the death penalty for drug crimes and have called it a very regrettable step. It has been pointed out that the death penalty for drugs and other charges has resumed just days after the United Nations General Assembly called for a halt to the death penalty around the world in the majority of countries. A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death penalty for crimes such as drugs was inconsistent with international norms and standards. Since November 10, so far 17 suspects including three Pakistani nationals have been sentenced to death in drug cases. Gulzar Khan who was arrested for smuggli

Iran | At Least 3 Executed in Isfahan; Executions in Kashan, Hamedan and Birjand

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 28, 2022: Hossein Kheirollahi, Saheb Rasouli and an unidentified man have been executed in Isfahan Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Isfahan Central Prison on November 26. Their identities have been established as Hossein Kheirollahi and Saheb Rasouli who were sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court. Another man was also executed at the prison on November 23. His identity or the charges leading to his execution have not been established. At the time of writing, none of their executions have been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran. As of 10 October 2022, at least 428 people including two juvenile offenders and 12 women were executed by the Islamic Republic, an 89% increase compared to the same period last year. At least 180 people including a woman have been executed for drug-related offences since the beginning of the year. This is while 83 peo

Missouri executes Kevin Johnson

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Kevin Johnson executed for the 2005 murder of a Kirkwood police officer  A Missouri inmate convicted of ambushing and killing a St. Louis area police officer he blamed in the death of his younger brother was executed Tuesday night.  Kevin Johnson , 37, died after an injection of pentobarbital at the state prison in Bonne Terre. It was the state’s 2nd execution this year and the 17th nationally. 2 more executions are scheduled in Missouri for the first few weeks of 2023.  Johnson’s attorneys didn’t deny that he killed Officer William McEntee in 2005, but contended he was sentenced to death in part because he is Black. The courts and Republican Gov. Mike Parson declined to stop the execution.  McEntee, 43, was a 20-year veteran of the police department in Kirkwood. A husband and father of three, he was among the officers sent to Johnson’s home on July 5, 2005, to serve a warrant for his arrest. Johnson was on probation for assaulting his girlfriend, and police believed he had violated pr

Alabama inmate describes failed execution attempt: Unknown injections, repeated attempts to start IV

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Kenneth Eugene Smith, the man who survived Alabama’s latest execution attempt, is claiming in a new court filing he was strapped to a gurney for 4 hours, injected with an unknown substance and poked with needles until the state eventually called off the execution just before midnight. Smith, 57, was set to die by lethal injection on Nov. 17 at William C. Holman Correctional Facility. The prison, located in Atmore, is the only state facility with an execution chamber. He was going to be executed for his role in the 1988 murder-for-hire of Elizabeth Dorlene Sennett, a pastor’s wife from Colbert County who was fatally stabbed and beaten. Gov. Kay Ivey has since ordered a moratorium on executions pending an internal review of the state’s execution process. A Friday court filing from Smith’s attorneys detailed his account of what happened the night of the set execution. Around 7:45 p.m., the filing states, Smith was on the phone with his wife while waiting on the U.S. Court of Appeals for t

World Cup | An Anthem Of Controversy - Why Iranians Eschew The National Symbol

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Why Iran’s football (soccer) team in Qatar refused to sing the national anthem in its first game, which was their subtle gesture amid popular protests. Every country has national symbols that represent its rich culture and history, traditions, and unique attributes of the land and its people. The national anthem is one such symbol that evokes feelings of patriotism among the citizens, binds them with a united purpose and collective identity, and reminds them of what they perceive as their nation's glorious heritage. It is nearly universal that national anthems demand reverence and are viewed by many as a sacred representation of their nation. It is common to see people rise and place a hand on their heart to show their commitment to their land and display their patriotism as they hear their anthem performed. RELATED | Iranian World Cup squad declines to sing national anthem, backing protests at home As Iran’s widespread protests enter their third month, there is an unusual phenome

Iran Eying Death Sentence For Anyone Contacting Foreign Media

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The Islamic Republic’s parliament is honing regulations that would enable the authorities to execute anyone who speaks or sends images to foreign media outlets.  Since the current wave of protests began in Iran following the death in custody of Mahsa Amini, the authorities have been trying to restrict the spread of information both within the country and from inside the country to the international community.  In its latest move, the regime plans to ratify laws that would pave the way for executing people who are helping the world hear the voices of dissent. When finalized, the new law would help the hardliner Judiciary issue death sentences for anyone contacting foreign-based media.  The plan “to intensify the punishment of collaborators with the actions of hostile countries against national security and interests” describes any cooperation with “hostile countries, including the US government” as espionage. It considers any such cooperation as “corruption on earth,” which is punishabl

New York | Buffalo Tops mass shooter pleads guilty, but the community's wounds remain

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Six-and-a-half months ago, a gunman descended on Buffalo's East Side Tops and, through an act of racist violence, shattered a community's sense of security and peace. In his wake, 10 people were killed and countless lives were irrevocably changed. In the early moments before the horrific details of the shooting fully emerged, East Side native Glen Marshall felt he needed to get back home. He needed, like the hundreds of others that gathered then, to be present, to be in community, to honor the lives lost and support the grieving community. “This is the neighborhood Tops, this is the Black community – this is the heart of the Black community,” Marshall said at the time. “If we don’t live in this community, we grew up in this community. Everybody comes back to the community.” More details have emerged in the months since the May 14 shooting at a Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue: about the perpetuator, about his motives and about the victims. And on Monday morning, Payton