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No pain-free death

Bobby Joe Long, a Tampa Bay area killer who murdered eight women in the 1980s, is due to be executed by lethal injection in Florida, US, on 23 May. But he is “not entitled to a pain-free death,” says Assistant Attorney General Christina Pacheco.

The controversy is over Florida’s use of the the drug etomidate in its lethal injections. It’s the only state to use the drug and started using it in January 2017. Since then, the state has executed five men. Eric Branch screamed and thrashed around as the lethal drugs entered his body.

Florida formerly used midazolam but that has become difficult for states to get hold of, because pharmaceutical companies object to its use in executions.