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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: Death penalty awarded to 2 brothers; facilitators aiding terrorists to get death penalty

Additional Sessions Judge Amjad Nazeer Chaudhary on Saturday sentenced two brothers he convicted of murder to death. 

Prosecution said Azam and his brother Arif had shot dead Ajmal Amir over a property dispute in Khurarianwala. 

After examining the evidence and hearing the witnesses, judge sentenced them to death and ordered them to pay Rs100,000 compensation to heirs of the deceased.

In Bahawalpur, Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Yaqoob on Saturday awarded death sentence to a man he convicted of murder.

Prosecution said Umar Farooq, a resident of Chak 208-RB, and his father Muhammad Arshad and uncle Abdul Ghaffar had shot dead Gulzar, a resident of the same neighbourhood, after an argument.

After examining the evidence and hearing the witnesses, the judge sentenced Farooq to death under Section 302-B of the Pakistan Penal Code. 

The convict was also directed to pay Rs100,000 compensation to heirs of the deceased.

The court acquitted Arshad and Abdul Ghaffar, giving them the benefit of doubt.

Source: Express Tribune, January 23, 2016


Pakistan Death penalty: EU urges moratorium revival

The European Union continues to engage with Pakistan in an effort to convince it to reinstitute its moratorium on the death penalty. 

EU Ambassador to Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain has said that the EU is of the view that the death penalty is not a deterrent and may conversely be a factor which increases hatred for the state. 

He was speaking to The Express Tribune at the Dean of European Diplomatic Corps Emilian Ion, Ambassador of Romania's farewell to outgoing ambassadors of Argentina, the UK, Sweden, Bangladesh and Japan. 

He said that despite terrorist incidents in Europe there was no possibility that death penalty may be considered in Europe referring to the recent terrorist incidents in France.

Source: Express Tribune, January 23, 2016


Rule Of Law: 'Facilitators to get death penalty'

Senior lawyer Salim Shah Hoti on Saturday said that 'facilitators' found aiding terrorists in terror attacks, are liable to be punished with the death penalty according to the law of the land. 

He added that those arrested by security forces for their involvement in the Bacha Khan University carnage will be dealt with accordingly. 

The interior ministry, he said, would send their cases to military courts for trial as the same law was applicable to them. 

He stated that military courts were set up after the passage of the 21st Amendment in January 2015 to adjudicate upon terror-related cases. 

PM Nawaz had abolished the moratorium on death penalty in terrorism-related cases soon after assuming office.

Source: Express Tribune, January 23, 2016

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