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Missouri Governor Jay Nixon suspends lethal injection execution amid drug controversy

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The Midwestern US state of Missouri said Friday that it was suspending its next execution amid a controversy over the drug used for lethal injections.

“I have directed the Department of Corrections that the execution of Allen Nicklasson, as set for October 23, will not proceed,” Governor Jay Nixon said.

Almost every state that practices the death penalty has adopted the barbiturate pentobarbital for lethal injections.

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But as supplies dwindle, states that practice capital punishment are turning to new drugs or new providers, though not without hiccups.

Missouri had planned to use propofol — the anesthetic that killed Michael Jackson — to put Nicklasson to death.

It was forced to return its stocks, however, when the German manufacturer refused to allow the drug to be used for human executions.

Nixon said he was suspending the execution “in light of the issues that have been raised surrounding the use of propofol in executions.”

The governor said a new execution date will be set for Nicklasson. He has not specified what will become of another lethal injection scheduled for November 20.

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According to local media, elected officials in Missouri have proposed building a new gas chamber, a practice that was discontinued in 1965.

Most other US states that practice capital punishment have turned to compounding pharmacies to customize their supply of lethal injection drugs.

The substances, however, have not been approved by federal regulators, eliciting multiple lawsuits from death row inmates who say the could die in excruciating pain as a result.

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Missouri has executed 68 prisoners since the death penalty was reestablished in the United States in 1976. Its last execution was on February 9, 2011.


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2020 Election

‘So, so cruel’: Rights advocates sound alarm about immigration agenda Stephen Miller is crafting for Trump’s 2nd term

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Immigrant rights advocates along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters responded with alarm to reporting this week that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is plotting how to "rev up Trump's restrictive immigration agenda" and is ready to "unleash executive orders deemed too extreme for a president seeking reelection" in the event of a Biden loss next week.

NBC News reported Friday that Miller, speaking as an adviser to the president's campaign, laid out four top priorities in a 30-minute call Thursday: "limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing 'sanctuary cities,' expanding the so-called travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and slapping new limits on work visas." Implementing these policies would require a mix of legislation and executive action.

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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