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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: Three Men and One Woman Hanged in One Day

Iran Human Rights (DEC 8 2015): On Sunday December 6, three men with alleged murder charges were reportedly hanged to death at Zahedan Central Prison and also one woman was reportedly hanged in Ghazvin Central Prison for allegedly murdering her husband.

According to close sources, the names of the three men are: Mohsen Piri, Mohsen Gomshadzehi and Aziz Sarani. 

They were reportedly among five prisoners who on Thursday December 3 were transferred from their cells to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions. 

The other two were returned to their cells after the plaintiffs on their case files granted them respite from hanging. Iranian official sources have been silent on the execution of the three men.

The Iranian official news site, Parsine, has identified the woman as F. Zanjanian. 

According to the official report, "Zanjanian" committed the act of murder in 2011 and was sentenced to death and 99 lashings by Iranian courts.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 8, 2015

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