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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…

Bangladesh: Mufti Hannan’s death penalty upheld

Mufti Abdul Hannan
Mufti Abdul Hannan
The appellate division of the Supreme Court on Sunday upheld the death penalty of three men of banned militant outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJi), including its chief Mufti Abdul Hannan, in a case filed for the grenade attack on the then UK envoy in Bangladesh Anwar Choudhury in 2004.

A three-member bench of the Appellate Division led by chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order after dismissing the review appeal of the HuJi chief.

On 7 December last, the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of the three HuJi men.

On 11 February last year, a High Court bench, comprising justice M Enayetur Rahim and justice Amir Hossain, delivered the verdict upholding the death sentence of three of the accused - Mufti Abdul Hannan, Sharif Shahedul Alam and Delwar Hossain - and life-term imprisonment of two others - Mufti Hannan’s brother Mohibullah and Mufti Moinuddin - handed down by the lower court.

Anwar Choudhury and 51 others were injured while three, including two police officials, were killed in a grenade attack at Hazrat Shahjalal (RA) shrine in Sylhet on 21 May 2004.

Later, two cases - one for murder and another under the Explosive Act - were filed in connection with the grenade attack.

After investigation into the case, charges were framed against four people, including Mufti Hannan, on 31 July 2007.

The Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal of Sylhet on 23 December 2008, awarded death sentence to Huji leaders Hannan, Sharif Shahedul Alam Bipul and Delwar Hossain Ripon while Mufti Muhibur Rahman (Hannan’s brother) and Mufti Mainuddin were awarded life term, and fined Tk 10,000 each in the murder case.

Source: Prothom Alo, March 19, 2017

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