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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…

Manny Pacquiao doubles down, posts that gays should be put to death

Manny Pacquiao
Manny Pacquiao
A day after Nike ended its relationship with Manny Pacquiao for his recent anti-gay rant, the boxer posted on Instagram quoting a Bible verse that mandated gay people be put to death, according to various sources. The Instagram post quoted Leviticus 20:13, which says:

"If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

He has since deleted the Instagram post after it received at least 18,000 likes.

On one hand, at least Pacquiao is being honest and genuine with his embrace of the Bible. Most Christians pick and choose which parts they are going to embrace. Many of them even parse individual passages. 

Many Christians like Tony Dungy want to beat people over the head with the first sentence of that passage while conveniently ignoring the second sentence. So it's kind of nice to see a guy like Pacquiao not shy away from the entire passage, which makes murderers of Christians who want to persecute gay people.

On the other hand, Pacquiao is clearly utterly tone deaf on this issue. He hasn't gotten the message about where most of society is on this issue, and he likely doesn't much care. He's running for a Senate seat in the Philippines now that his boxing career is at its sunset, and this may play well there.

Source: Outsports, Cyd Zeigler, Feb 18, 2016


Manny Pacquiao Loses Nike Sponsorship Over Anti-Gay Remarks

Nike has terminated its relationship with Manny Pacquiao, the champion boxer who is campaigning for the Senate in the Philippines, one day after he publicly apologized for calling people in gay relationships “worse than animals” during an interview with a local broadcaster.

“We find Manny Pacquiao’s comments abhorrent,” Nike said in a statement. “Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community.

“We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao.”

Pacquiao, 37, a born-again Christian and second-term congressman in the Philippines, had a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike for many years, but by Wednesday night the company had removed all of his branded merchandise from its online store.

Outrage over Pacquiao’s remarks began to spread on Monday, when a video of him criticizing gay people during an interview with TV5, a Philippine network, was shared widely online.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The New York Times, Feb. 18, 201

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