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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…

Pakistan: 2 brothers acquitted in abduction, murder case; Army Chief signs death warrants of 4 terrorists

A division bench of the Lahore High Court Tuesday acquitted 2 real brothers- Ali Abbas and Nadeem Abbas- who were convicted for killing a woman after abduction.

The bench comprising Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Ch Mushtaq Ahmad acquitted the convicts while accepting their appeals against the sentence.

During the course of proceedings, the defendants' counsel submitted that there was no solid evidence which showed that the convicts were responsible for or associated with the murder. He pleaded the bench to acquit them after setting aside their death sentence.

In 2011, an addition district and sessions judge had awarded death penalty to Ali Abbas and Nadeem Abbas for kidnapping Naseem Sharif, wife of late brigadier Muhammad Sharif and killing her after getting signatures on the property documents.

Army Chief has signed the deaths warrants of Murad Khan s/o Sarfraz Khan, Inayatullah s/o Khakhay Khan, Israruddin alias Abu LASE S/O Hussain Ahmad and Noor Saeed alias Hafiz Saheb s/o Muhammad Saeed.

The army chief today endorsed the sentencing of these terrorists.

The ISPR said the convicts were involved in manslaughter, suicide bombing, abduction for ransom, funding terrorist organisations and causing colossal damage to life and property.

More than 300 death convicts have been sent to the gallows in the country after the government lifted a six-year moratorium on death penalty in the wake of the attack on Peshawar's Army Public School in December last year which left 150 people dead, majority schoolchildren.

Last week, the warrants of Maulvi Abdus Salam, Hazrat Ali, Mujeebur Rehman and Sabeel alias Yahya were signed by the army chief, and they were hanged days later in a Kohat jail.

Source: Pakistan Today, nanonews.org, December 9, 2015

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