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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…

Kuwait sentences two to death for spying for Iran regime

Double execution by hanging in Kuwait in June 2013
Double execution by hanging in Kuwait in June 2013
A Kuwaiti court sentenced two men accused of spying for Iran and Hezbollah to death on Tuesday.

An Iranian national and a Kuwaiti citizen were found guilty of intelligence links with the Iranian regime and its proxy Lebanese group Hezbollah. 

The Iranian national was convicted in absentia, but the other was in court.

According to the case documents, 25 Kuwaiti and Iranian suspects were put on trial for intelligence links with the regime in Iran and Hezbollah, and for possessing weapons and explosives. They were arrested in August.

The case also included the possession of weapons. 

Other suspects were given sentences ranging from five to 25 years, and three were found innocent.

The court said the Kuwaiti man masterminded the plot targeting Kuwait, used weapons and recruited 14 others.

The court also sentenced one defendant to life in jail, 15 others to 15 years and one to five years, Kuwaiti news site Al Aan reported.

The verdicts come amid deep tensions between Tehran and Arab countries after Iranian regime’s agents on January 2 torched Saudi Arabian diplomatic missions in Iran.

Source: NCRI, January 12, 2016

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