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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…

Georgia: States debating alternatives to lethal injection

Lethal injection is the primary method used for the death penalty and in just days it'll be used on a Georgia death row inmate, but the drugs limited availability has some states looking for a new solution.

The method has been the primary use of execution since 1982 and now 1,425 executions later, states are starting to rethink it for the death penalty. 

Virginia has a bill on the table trying to bring back the electric chair. It's passed the state house and senate and now waits for a Governor's signature.

The main reason, the lethal drugs are hard to come by and we are seeing that close to home. Last year, South Carolina ran out of the lethal injection cocktail, putting 44 executions on hold. 

Also in March of last year the 1st woman put on Georgia's death row in 70 years Kelly Gissender had her death rescheduled several times between march and June because the lethal drug again was hard to come by.

Also in June there was a case of cloudiness due to shipping and storing that delayed Gissender's death again. Georgia also had an issue a few years ago where it was running out of the drug completely. 

Starting from 2010 when states where asked to use a new formula several cases had botched drugs causing a slow death for several inmates, several states issued holds on capital punishment.

Right now there are 19 states that have outlawed capital punishment, 5 states since 2009.

Although there have been difficulties case by case, for now, Georgia is continuing with lethal injection for the death penalty. 

Joshua Daniel Bishop is scheduled to die on Thursday for an armed robbery where he beat a man to death for not turning over his Jeep keys. 

Another, Kenneth Fults is set for lethal injection execution on April 12th.

Source: WRDW news, March 28, 2016

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