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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…

More drug convicts to be executed next year: Indonesian Attorney General M Prasetyo

Attorney General M Prasetyo
Attorney General M Prasetyo
Attorney General M Prasetyo has stressed that a third round of drug convict executions will be carried out next year.

He has yet to add further details with regard to schedule or the number of convicts that the government expects to execute.

“The executions will be implemented in 2016. This should become our focus. Law enforcement should keep moving ahead,” said Prasetyo at the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Minister’s office on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.

The third round of executions should have been carried out sometime this year, but the executions were delayed due to economic reasons. It is commonly feared that further executions will hinder the flow of investment into Indonesia.

To date, 14 drugs drug convicts have been executed. The previous executions received strong criticism from anti-death penalty activists and caused the souring of diplomatic relations with a number of countries including Brazil and Australia.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff responded to the execution of a Brazilian citizen by ordering its ambassador to return to Brazil and a similar move was made by the Australian government, whom lost two of its citizens.

Prasetyo, however, said that the executions had been approved of by many neighboring countries because they considered Indonesia to be serious in the fight against drugs.

“Our neighbors appreciate our action because drugs are our common enemy,” he added.

Source: The Jakarta Post, December 25, 2015

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