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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: Grandma Caught With 1,500 Ecstasy Tablets, Crystal Meth at Kualanamu Airport

Indonesian police drug bust (file photo)
Indonesian police drug bust (file photo)
Jakarta. Security officers at Kualanamu International Airport in North Sumatra have handed a 54-year-old woman over to police after finding 1,500 ecstasy tablets and nearly 30 grams of crystal methamphetamine in her possession on Sunday (07/02).

The woman, who has been identified as Hajjah Isdiani, is reportedly from Kalimantan Island. 

The drugs were found hidden inside her underwear during a routine check by airport security personnel.

During a subsequent interrogation, Hajjah told the officers that the drugs originated from a drug dealer in Lubuk Pakam, a town in North Sumatra province. 

She confessed that she had been offered Rp 15 million ($1,100) to smuggle the drugs.

"The evidence was seized from inside the bra worn by the suspect. She was a passenger on Lion Air flight JT 913 traveling from Kualanamu to Balikpapan. She was handed over to the police," said Kuswadi, the chief of security at Kualanamu airport.

The airport is situated 39 kilometers from the provincial capital Medan.

Kuswadi said the police are conducting further investigations.

Source: Jakarta Globe, Arnold H Sianturi, February 08, 2016

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