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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…

India's Supreme Court Stays Execution Of Convict In Rape, Murder Of 5-Year-Old

India's Supreme Court
India's Supreme Court
A man, who was to be hanged on Wednesday for raping and killing a 5-year-old last year in Madhya Pradesh, got a fresh lease of life as the Supreme Court today stayed his execution and sought response of the state government on his appeal in the case.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justices R Banumathi and UU Lalit, stayed the execution after taking note of the petition filed by convict Sachin K Singhraha, a Madhya Pradesh resident, against the High Court verdict confirming his death penalty awarded by a local court.

Singhraha, in his appeal, has sought a stay on the operation of the death warrant.

The petition alleged that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against him beyond reasonable doubt and the trial court was wrong in awarding him the death penalty.

It said the trial court did not give any special reason for "imposing death sentence upon the convict" and the high court while confirming the death sentence has also failed to give any special reasons for imposing death sentence. It also claimed that his case did not fall in the category of "rarest of rare" so as to be awarded death sentence.

According to the prosecution, on February 23 last year, Singhraha had kidnapped the victim, raped her and subsequently murdered her after 2 days.

Thereafter, the convict threw girl's dead body in a well with a view to destroy the evidence.

The convict, however, had told the trial court that he was innocent and falsely implicated in the case.

In its order, the trial court had held the accused guilty and awarded death penalty, which was further confirmed by the High Court.

Source: ndtv.com, March 29, 2016

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