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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…

Indonesia will maintain death penalty for drugs traffickers

The government will continue to hand out the death sentence to big players in drug trafficking world despite criticism from foreign countries and human rights activists, arguing that consistency in law enforcement is the key to success in curbing the distribution of drugs.

"The best way to reduce the trafficking of drugs is through consistency. We have no tolerance for drug dealers," said the Jakarta head of the National Narcotics Board (BNN), Brig. Gen. Ali Johardi at a press conference in Jakarta to launch the annual International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) report on Thursday.

The country manager of the UN office on drugs and crime (UNODC) in Indonesia, Collie F. Brown, took the opportunity to reinstate the UN's opposition to the death penalty. Brown urged countries to find an alternative punishment for drug traffickers.

Attorney General M Prasetyo has stressed that a third round of drug convict executions would be carried out this year.

To date, 14 drugs drug convicts have been executed. The previous executions received strong criticism from anti-death penalty activists and caused a temporary souring of diplomatic relations with a number of countries including Brazil and Australia.

Johardi said the government was considering the development of a prison island, which will be used for drug-lord convicts, an idea proposed by BNN chief Budi Waseso.

There is a possibility, the idea was further discussed during the agency's recent meeting with the House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs, Johardi added.

Source: Jakarta Post, March 4, 2016

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