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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…

West Jakarta Prosecutors office will continue to seek death penalty for drugs lords

The West Jakarta Prosecutors Office will continue to seek the maximum sentence of death for big players in the drug trafficking world.

The West Jakarta Prosecutors Office head Reda Manthovani said on Tuesday that last year, his office handled 721 drug cases and sought the death penalty for 25 suspects, particularly for those who were involved in the trafficking of large amounts of narcotics.

According to Reda, his office would seek the death penalty for at least 11 "big drugs suspects," this year. "The people have sent tons of narcotics to Indonesia. They did not merely sell narcotics here, but even established a drug factory," Reda said during a press conference.

Many human rights activists have complained about his firmness against drugs suspects, Reda said, adding that he believed that firm action against the drugs traffickers should be implemented so as to protect young people from drugs.

"Just imagine if one of the members of your family became a narcotics user," said Reda. "China is a great country, but they were defeated because of opium. We don't want to be like that," Reda said, citing the history of China, a nation that was defeated by invaders during the opium war.

He said that the West Jakarta Prosecutor's Office had demanded the death penalty for Iwan Setiawan, who is accused of possessing 450 kilograms of marijuana, but the West Jakarta District Court chose to punish him with a life sentence. "We will file an appeal," Reda said.

Source: The Jakarta Post, January 13, 2016

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