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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…

Taliban Reportedly Execute Afghan Woman For Adultery

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says Ghor is among the provinces with the highest number of so-called Taliban "desert courts."

Afghan officials say a woman has been executed after being accused of adultery in a remote Taliban-controlled village in the western province of Ghor.

Abdul Hai Khatibi, a provincial government spokesman, said on February 8 that the execution was carried out in the remote Taliban-controlled village of Zanu on February 5.

The woman was identified by her 1st name, Zahra, but her age was unknown.

Khatibi said Zahra was detained by the Taliban along with a man, identified as Ayub. Ayub was shot while trying to flee and is currently in Taliban captivity, the spokesman said.

However, district Governor Muhammad Hussein Daneshyar told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that the woman was shot dead by her husband, who accused her of having an extramarital affair.

Afghan official say the area has been under militant control for more than a year.

There was no comment from the Taliban.

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission says Ghor is among the provinces with the highest number of so-called Taliban "desert courts."

Source: rawa.org, Feb. 9, 2016

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