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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…

Malaysia: Two arrested for drug trafficking

Drug bust at a Malaysian Airport
Drug bust at a Malaysian Airport
A 44-year-old local was charged in the High Court here Thursday with trafficking 71.03gm of syabu.

Ibrahim Tabarak pleaded not guilty before Judge Ravinthran N. Paramaguru to committing the offence at 5.10pm on Sept 1, 2015 at the ferry terminal in Labuan.

He was charged under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which carries the death penalty on conviction.

The court set May 9-13 for trial in Labuan and March 30 for case management.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Farrah Farriza Wan Ghazali prosecuted while Ibrahim was represented by counsel Ram Singh, Timothy Daut and YS Lo.

Meanwhile, in the Magistrate's Court, 4 people were jailed for committing various drug-related offences.

Akmad Syah, who pleaded guilty before Magistrate Cindy Mc Juce Balitus to having 1.7gm of syabu on Jan 11, was jailed 17 months.

Nisbah Abu Jain was jailed 6 months for having 0.04gm of syabu on Dec 4, last year at Sinsuran, here.

Ridzuan Abdul and Sherah Salleh, who admitted to taking drugs on Jan 11, were jailed 5 months and 4 months respectively. Inspector Isfandiar Jasdi prosecuted.

A 35- year-old local man here is likely to face the death penalty for involvement in trafficking 353.27 gm of syabu with a street value of RM38,500.

The man was nabbed by a police anti-narcotics team who raided the suspect's house at Rancha-Rancha after a public tip-off around 11.30 pm on Feb 16.

"There was a scuffle between our anti-narcotics personnel and the suspect, who sustained some injuries. He was caught with a package containing 7 plastic packets of the drug," Labuan police chief Supt Adzhar Othman told reporters Friday.

He said the man who also tested positive for methamphetamine and amphetamine was being remanded under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which allows for detention of a suspect for more than 24 hours to enable police to complete their investigation.

"Under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act, drug traffickers caught with synthetic narcotics weighing more than 50 grams faces the mandatory death sentence if convicted," Adzhar said.

Source: Daily Mail Online, Bernama, Feb. 19, 2016

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