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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: two executions, one in public

The Iranian regime's henchmen hanged a 36-year-old father of 3 in a prison in the city of Gorgan in northern Iran.

The victim identified as Hossein Naybandani had been sentenced to death for "transferring and being in possession of drugs."

Naybandani was hanged early morning on Sunday in the main prison in Gorgan.

There has been no official information released on his execution.

Execution rates have been increasing at "an exponential rate" in Iran. Since Hassan Rouhani took office as president of the clerical regime, the rate of executions has reach its highest in 25 years.

Iran under the rule of the mullahs is the number 1 record holder for the number of executions per capita.

As Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. special rapporteur for human rights in Iran, has pointed out, the Iranian regime "continues to execute more individuals per capita than any other country in the world."

The number of executions by the regime is much higher than those officially reported or published in state media.

Source: NCR-Iran, December 12, 2015


A Prisoner Hanged for Drug Offenses, Another Prisoner Hanged in Public

On Sunday December 6, a prisoner with alleged drug charges was reportedly hanged at Gorgan Central Prison. On Wednesday December 9, an unidentified prisoner with alleged rape charges was reportedly hanged in a public space in Mamasani, a county in the province of Fars.

According to the human rights group, HRANA, the prisoner who was hanged on Sunday is Hossein Neybandani, a 31-year old man accused of possessing and trafficking narcotics. 

Iranian official sources have been silent about Neybandani's execution.

According to the Iranian official news site Seda o Sima, the unidentified prisoner was 21 years old at the time of his execution.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 12, 2015

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