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'Express lane to death': Texas seeks approval to speed up death penalty appeals, execute more quickly

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Texas is seeking to speed up executions with a renewed request to opt-in to a federal law that would shorten the legal process and limit appeals options for death-sentenced prisoners.
Defense attorneys worry it would lead to the execution of innocent people and - if it's applied retroactively, as Texas is requesting - it could potentially end ongoing appeals for a number of death row prisoners and make them eligible for execution dates.
"Opt-in would speed up the death penalty treadmill exponentially," said Kathryn Kase, an longtime defense attorney and former executive director of Texas Defender Services.
But a state attorney general spokeswoman framed the request to the Justice Department as a necessary way to avoid "stressful delays" and cut down on the "excessive costs" of lengthy federal court proceedings.
Robbie Kaplan, co-founder of the #TimesUp movement, says sweeping changes to laws in recent years have dissuaded attorneys from taking on har…

Iran Court Sentences Woman to Death by Stoning; Prisoner Hanged in Southern Iran

Iran Human Rights (DEC 9 2015): A court in the north of Iran has reportedly sentenced a woman to lashings, 25 years in prison, and also death by stoning for allegedly assisting in the murder of her husband, Arash Babaieepour Tabrizinejad.

Her sentence was reportedly issued by Branch 2 of a criminal court in Gilan. 

A local Iranian official website, quoting the Prosecutor of Siahkal (a city in the province of Gilan), has identified the woman as only "A.Kh".

A prisoner with an alleged murder charge was reportedly hanged at Bandar Abbas Central Prison on the morning of Monday December 7. 

A report by the Judicial department in the province of Hormozgan identifies the prisoner as A.B. 

The prisoner was reportedly charged with murder and also sentenced to death in 2008. 

The death sentence was reportedly issued by Branch 1 of Hormozgan's Criminal Court and confirmed by Branch 13 of Iran's Supreme Court.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 8-9, 2015

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