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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…

Pakistan executes 4 terrorists convicted by military courts

Pakistan Wednesday hanged 4 "hardcore" terrorists convicted of "heinous" terrorism-related offences by controversial military courts in the restive northwestern province, taking the number to over 160 since the Peshawar terror attack in 2014.

The terrorists belonging to a banned outfit were executed in a jail in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, the worst hit due to violence by Taliban terrorists.

"They were involved in committing heinous offences relating to terrorism, including killing of innocent civilians, destruction of educational institutions, attacking Armed Forces of Pakistan and Law Enforcement Agencies," the army said.

It said the terrorists were awarded death sentence by the military courts which work in secrecy due to fear of attacks by militants.

Military courts were restored in March for another 2 years after their initial 2-year term expired in January.

The courts were set up after a constitutional amendment following a terror attack on an Army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014 which killed more than 150 people, most of them students.

Human rights group Justice Project Pakistan says 441 people have been executed since the Peshawar attack.

Pakistan has been fighting various extremist groups for over a decade. Militant attacks have killed tens of thousands of people.

The military courts have handed down the death penalty to more than 160 militants.

Source: business-standard.com, May 17, 2017

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