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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…

Indonesia: Pakistan Nationals Among Eight Nabbed With 100 Kgs of Drugs

BNN drug bust: 100 kg of methamphetamine
BNN drug bust: 100 kg of methamphetamine 
Jakarta. The National Narcotics Agency, or BNN, has arrested eight men, including four Pakistan nationals, with around 100 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine worth billions of rupiah in a drug bust at a warehouse in Jepara, Central Java on Wednesday (27/1).

The arrests were made following a tip-off from Yogyakarta and Central Java custom officials after suspicious packages were delivered from Tanjung Mas Port in Central Java capital Semarang to a warehouse belonging to a furniture company identified as Jepara Jaya Internasional.

The Pakistan Nationals, identified as Faiq, Amran Malik, Riaz and Toriq, allegedly smuggled 100 kilograms of drugs by hiding it inside power generator units, BNN chief Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso told reporters on Thursday (28/1), as quoted by Detik.com.

Four other suspects — Yulian, Tommy, Kristiadi and Didit — were arrested in three separate locations in Semarang and Jepara, Budi said, adding that one of them was a village head.

The anti-narcotics agency is still investigating the role of eight suspects in the case, Budi explained.

Source: Jakarta Globe, Y. Sukoyo, January 28, 2016

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