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Arkansas judge strikes down the state’s lethal injection method

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A group of death row inmates won a US court ruling temporarily blocking executions in Arkansas until the southern state’s legislature specifies which barbiturate drug should be used in lethal injections.

Friday’s decision was the latest chapter in a growing controversy on lethal injection drugs in states that practice the death penalty.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen pointed to an “absence of guidelines” in Arkansas’s 2013 law on execution procedures, adding that it “didn’t fix all the flaws that were in the previous law,” according to Jeff Rosenzweig, a lawyer for the death row inmates.

The law orders prison authorities to use a barbiturate when conducting executions, without specifying which one, and fails to indicate what type of training necessary for staff who administer lethal injections.

The inmates said the law violated their rights under the US Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which protects against “cruel and unusual punishment.”

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Arkansas, which has not put an inmate to death since 2005 and has 298 prisoners on death row, has no execution scheduled at this time.

It is among several states weighing changes to execution methods as they face a shortage of the most commonly used anesthetic, pentobarbital, and a growing number of inmate lawsuits.

European manufacturers have refused to supply the drug to put people to death and US prison authorities have instead turned toward different suppliers or products.

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Some death row inmates have filed lawsuits asking courts to stay their executions until authorities can establish that the new products will not make them suffer in violation of their constitutional protections.

Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Tuesday announced a moratorium on capital punishment, pointing to “too many flaws in the system.”

The Kansas state senate is weighing abolishing the death penalty to replace it with life imprisonment, following the lead of 18 of the 50 US states and the capital Washington.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face rape charges in Nevada

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Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will not face any charges over an alleged rape in the US state of Nevada a decade ago, prosecutors said on Monday.

The Clark County District Attorney's Office said it had declined to prosecute the Portuguese star because it "cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt" that a sexual assault occurred.

Kathryn Mayorga, a former model, has claimed that Ronaldo raped her in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star reached a financial settlement with her following the incident but has denied allegations of sexual assault.

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‘They are lemmings’: Democratic strategist blasts Republicans as ‘the party of cowardice and complicity’

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In a CNN panel Monday, Democratic strategist Maria Cardona unleashed on the way Republicans are continuing to give President Donald Trump a pass on his racist attacks on four congresswomen of color.

In a press availability, Trump told reporters that the four women are changing the Democratic Party, saying no one knows how to handle them.

After playing the tape, one of the panelists off-camera could be heard saying, "He's such a liar."

"It’s so insulting that he even talks about these four young women of color as 'people who need to be handled,'" Cardona said of Trump's casual misogyny. "They are elected members of Congress. They deserve respect. What I think really drives this president crazy is that they are young, and they are women of color, and that they are doing things that really take him off of his message. And they are also exposing what many of us have already known — that he is a racist, that he has taken a playbook out of the handbook of white supremacists telling them to 'send her back.' And then — then using that at his rallies and saying he doesn’t agree with it."

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2020 Election

Georgetown Law professor: Top broadcaster ‘likely’ killed interview because Buttigieg is gay

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A prominent Georgetown Law professor says Cumulus Media likely blocked an interview one of its country music station hosts had conducted with Pete Buttigieg from airing because the Democratic presidential candidate is gay.

After Huffpost reported that Blair Garner had been told by Cumulus Media he could not air any part of his interview with Buttigieg, Cumulus – the number three broadcaster in the nation of AM and FM radio stations – claimed the decision was based on the “equal time rule.”

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