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U.S. | Execution by nitrogen hypoxia doesn’t seem headed for widespread adoption as bills fall short and nitrogen producers object

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The day after Alabama carried out the first-known US execution using nitrogen gas, its attorney general sent a clear message to death penalty states that might want to follow suit: “Alabama has done it, and now so can you.” Indeed, in the weeks immediately following the January execution of Kenneth Smith, it appeared a handful of states were listening, introducing bills that would adopt the method known as nitrogen hypoxia or a similar one. Officials behind each framed the legislation as an alternative method that could help resume executions where they had long been stalled.

Indonesia sentences Iranian drug gang to death

An Indonesian court on Friday handed death sentences to eight Iranian drug traffickers found guilty of smuggling more than 300 kilograms of crystal meth into the Southeast Asian country.

Indonesia has some of the world’s toughest anti-drug laws but has held off conducting executions for several years. 

A judge in Banten province on Java island ordered that all eight men be executed by firing squad for the gang’s role in smuggling 319 kilograms (703 pounds) of the illegal drug.

Uli Purnama addressed the defendants individually, ruling each one had been “convincingly proven guilty of committing intentionally a criminal act… as an intermediary in the transaction of class 1 narcotics”.

He told each of them he was “therefore sentencing the defendant” to death.

The judge said all eight were found trying to smuggle the drugs through the Indian Ocean to Java, Indonesia’s most populated island, before being caught in February at a port in Banten.

The defendants have seven days to appeal the decision.

In 2019, a French drug trafficker briefly on death row saw his sentence reduced to a long prison term on appeal.

A year earlier, eight Taiwanese smugglers were sentenced to death after being caught with around a tonne of crystal meth.

Several foreign traffickers have been executed by firing squad, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in 2015 — a case that sparked diplomatic outrage and a call to abolish the death penalty.

The pair had been named the ringleaders of the “Bali Nine” heroin smuggling gang. 

Source: Agence France-Presse, Staff, October 28, 2023


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