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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…

IS extremists publicly behead Syrian man for 'insulting Caliphathe', Iraqi man for 'insulting Allah'

IS extremist beheads man in Raqqa, Syria in Feb. 2016 (Terrormonitor.org)
Extremists of the Islamic State (ISIS) executed on Monday a man in the city of Shaddadi in Syria's northeastern Hasakah province, after accusing him of "insulting the Caliphate".

Saleh al-Rahim, 48, was publicly beheaded in central Shaddadi.

"ISIS claimed that al-Rahim has refused to pay taxes to the al-Hisba (taxation) department, which the group considered a violation to its rules and an act of insult to the ISIS self-declared Caliphate," rights activist Ahmed Hussaini told ARA News in Shaddadi.

The man was arrested at an ISIS security checkpoint near the village of Sarb in the vicinity of Shaddadi while trying to escape the ISIS-held area towards Hasakah city.

The victim was brutally beheaded in front of hundreds of people in Shaddadi's central square, after one of the militants read a statement accusing him of insulting the Caliphate and deserving the death penalty, according to local sources.

The city of Shaddadi is deemed the main bastion for ISIS jihadis in Hasakah province - where the group has recently lost large territories to the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Iraq, Ninawa, February 2016. Islamic State extremists publicly beheaded a man for allegedly 'insulting Allah.'

Photo: Terrormonitor.org on Twitter

Iraq, February 2016. ISIS beheads man for 'insulting Allah"

Sources: ARA news, Terrormonitor, Feb. 16, 2016


Darkness At Noon



Raqqa, Syria, February 2016 - An alleged thief has his right hand chopped off by an Islamic State extremist. Source: Terrormonitor.org on Twitter

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