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States to try new ways of executing prisoners. Their latest idea? Opioids.

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The synthetic painkiller fentanyl has been the driving force behind the nation’s opioid epidemic, killing tens of thousands of Americans last year in overdoses. Now two states want to use the drug’s powerful properties for a new purpose: to execute prisoners on death row.
As Nevada and Nebraska push for the country’s first fentanyl-assisted executions, doctors and death penalty opponents are fighting those plans. They have warned that such an untested use of fentanyl could lead to painful, botched executions, comparing the use of it and other new drugs proposed for lethal injection to human experimentation.
States are increasingly pressed for ways to carry out the death penalty because of problems obtaining the drugs they long have used, primarily because pharmaceutical companies are refusing to supply their drugs for executions.
The situation has led states such as Florida, Ohio and Oklahoma to turn to novel drug combinations for executions. Mississippi legalized nitrogen gas this s…

Death penalty in India has no clear guidelines, new research reveals

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Capital punishment is considered a deterrent by some, but judges have little guidance for deciding what can merit such a sentence
The death-penalty sentencing process in India is broken, and now there is fresh research that reiterates this fact. In pathbreaking work carried out by the National Law University in Delhi, 43 of 60 former judges of India's Supreme Court interviewed for the research, who had adjudicated 208 death-penalty cases among them between 1975 and 2016, expressed grave doubts about wrongful convictions.
But 39 of the judges interviewed favor retaining capital punishment. 8 of them were former chief justices of India. Of the 60 judges interviewed, 47 adjudicated capital-punishment cases and confirmed 92 death sentences in 63 cases.
Judges of the apex court are regarded as the embodiment of the letter and spirit of the law, and are supposed to judge with objectivity, without letting their biases and prejudices creep into rulings. The death sentences confirmed by th…

Egyptian MP introduces draft law stipulating death penalty for rapists of women, children

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Aiming to limit incidences of rape and kidnapping against women and children, Member of Parliament Mona Monir has suggested amendments to Egypt's main penal code including the death penalty for perpetrators of such crimes.
Egypt Independent obtained a copy of the draft law on Tuesday.
The 1st suggested modification relates to rape and stipulates perpetrators of the crime should be sentenced to death as opposed to the current sentence of lifetime imprisonment.
The amendment suggests that if the perpetrator of the crime is a relative of the victim or works as a servant for her, the death penalty should be applied.
The draft law also suggests that the perpetrator of sexual assault against any person under 18, whether male or female, should receive the death penalty.
The draft law suggests that anyone found guilty of kidnapping a minor should also be sentenced to death or life in prison. A perpetrator of kidnapping who is a relative or guardian should immediately receive the death pe…

Iran: Five executed, one to be hanged in public, death sentence upheld for researcher

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5 prisoners were executed at Kermanshah Central Prison on murder charges.
According to a close source, on the morning of Monday December 11, 5 prisoners were executed at Kermanshah Central Prison (Western Iran). 
All of the prisoners were sentenced to death on murder charges.
1 of the executed prisoners was identified as Keykavus Ashouri. He was arrested and sentenced to death 15 years ago.
The execution of these prisoners has not been announced by the state-run media so far.
According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 142 of the 530 execution sentences in 2016 were implemented due to murder charges. 
There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.
Prisoner Scheduled To Be Executed in Public
A prisoner who was sentenced to public execution on the charge of murdering a police officer was transferred to solitary confinement.
According to a close source…

Representing Individuals Facing the Death Penalty: A Best Practices Manual

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This manual is the product of a long and productive collaboration between Death Penalty Worldwide (a project directed by Professor Sandra Babcock of the Center for International Human Rights, Northwestern University School of Law), the law firm of Fredrikson & Byron P.A., the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, practicing lawyers in at least 15 countries, and law students enrolled in Professor Babcock’s Human Rights Advocacy clinic. This manual is also available in French, and will be translated into Arabic and Chinese by the end of 2013. It is available in Farsi.
As a capital defense lawyer, you have a duty to provide high quality legal representation, which involves several essential prerequisites. You must be independent and free to advocate zealously on behalf of your clients. You must have “experience and competence commensurate with the nature of the offense.” 
You should limit caseloads to a level at which you are able to provide high quality representation. And you …

India: Court sentences man to death for rape, killing of housemaid

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A special court has sentenced an Indian businessman and his domestic help to death for the brutal rape and murder of a 25-year-old housemaid in their home in Noida city on the outskirts of the national capital in 2006.
The court of India's Central Bureau of Investigation pronounced the quantum of punishment, a day after holding businessman Maninder Pandher and his aide Surinder Koli guilty in the crime they had committed in their house in Nithari village in Noida.
This was the 9th of a total of 16 cases in the macabre serial killings that took place in Nithari in 2005 and 2006.
While Koli has been found guilty in the earlier 8 cases and awarded death penalty, Pandher was convicted in 3 cases and sentenced to death in 2.
Handing down the punishment in the latest case, special CBI judge P.K. Tiwari said both Koli and Pandher were involved in the rape and murder of housemaid Anjali in 2006, and they deserved to be punished in the strictest manner.
"Koli had dragged the victim i…

Bali jailbreak: US inmate escapes notorious Kerobokan prison

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A US man held for drug possession has escaped from Bali's most notorious prison and is on the run on the Indonesian resort island.
Local media named the fugitive as Chrishan Beasley, arrested in August for carrying 5g (0.18oz) of hashish.
The 32-year old made his escape by scaling a prison wall with a fellow inmate who was recaptured immediately.
Indonesia has very strict anti-drugs laws and frequently arrests foreigners on drug-related charges.
The maximum sentence for drug trafficking is death.
Beasley and the other inmate reportedly escaped by climbing over the prison wall with a ladder from a construction project within the prison.
Other reports suggested the two had cut a hole in the roof with a hacksaw first.
The US citizen was still awaiting sentencing and it is not clear how much jail time he was likely to get.
The other prisoner, also from the US, has been named by media as 57-year-old Paul Anthony Hoffman who was serving a 20-month sentence for armed robbery.
Hoffman was …

Saudi Arabia On Track To Execute The Most People This Year In Two Decades

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Figures provided exclusively to BuzzFeed News reveal that, despite Mohammed bin Salman’s attempt to present himself as a reformer, the country's approach to the death penalty has not changed.
Mujtaba al-Sweikat was 17 years old when he attended a protest against the government in Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2012. That December, on his way to visit Western Michigan University, where he was to study English and finance, he was arrested at the airport of eastern city of Dammam, hauled away and convicted after a secret trial on charges that included overseeing a dissident Facebook page and photographing anti-government protests. His sentence: death by hanging, a verdict upheld by an appellate court over the summer.
The ascension of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman raised hopes for change inside and outside the conservative, oil-rich monarchy. He has announced drastic social reforms that include modernizing the nation’s religious teachings and granting wo…

India: Should death penalty be abolished? Study presents a firm argument

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The study points towards lack of uniform understanding of 'rarest of the rare'
At a time the debate on whether capital punishment should be abolished rages in the country, the study based on interview of 60 former Supreme Court judges brought out a non-uniform and rather contradictory approach by judges while awarding death sentences.
Significantly, these judges, which included eight former CJIs, had adjudicated 208 death penalty cases between them at different points during the period 1975-2016, and confirmed 92 of them. 
The study also goes on to expose the serious flaws in administration of death penalty in India and presents a firm argument for abolishing capital punishment.
The report showed that despite "rarest of rare" doctrine in death penalty as laid down by the SC in the Bachan Singh case, there existed no uniform understanding of the requirements of rarest of rare doctrine. "For a significant number of judges, the 'rarest of the rare' was base…