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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: Police Officer Sentenced to Death in Medan Drug Smuggling Case

Drug bust by Indonesian police
Drug bust by Indonesian police
Medan, North Sumatra. Two people, including a police officer, have been sentenced to death while the son of one of the convicts will spend his life in prison after the trio was found guilty of smuggling crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy pills from Malaysia into Medan, North Sumatra.

A police officer was sentenced to death while his son for life for smuggling ten kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and 271 ecstasy pills from Malaysia into the provincial capital, officials said on Wednesday (17/02).

The Tanjung Balai District Court sentenced 48-year-old Adj. First Insp. Mustajab of the North Sumatra Regional Police and his partner, a 50-year-old civilian identified as Syahdan, to death while Mustajab's 22-year-old son Reza Maulana will spend life behind bars.

Syahdun was arrested by the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) in 2015 after transporting hundreds of ecstasy pills in his boat. After questioning, the authorities found Mustajab and Reza were also involved in the international drug network.

The father and son were arrested in the province's Tanjung Balai Selatan and were found to have 10 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in their home.

“Their crime potentially jeopardizes the country's future generation. In addition, Mustajab is a police officer who has abused his authority. Mustajab and Syahdan are also repeat offenders for being drug couriers for three times. Nothing can make the sentence lighter,” presiding Judge Ulina Marbun said on Wednesday at the Court.

Indonesia's legal system takes a tough approach to those found guilty of drug crimes. In April 2015, eight people were executed at Cilacap's Nusakambangan Prison in Central Java — seven of them were foreigners.

Source: Jakarta Globe, Feb. 18, 2016

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