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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…

Indonesian government uncertain on use of death penalty in 2016

JAKARTA: The Indonesian government is yet to decide on whether it will execute drug traffickers this year, but has said it will focus more on improving the economy for the next seven to eight months.

“We’ll see what happens. We are still studying this very carefully. Maybe we could [continue with executions] this year, or maybe next year,” Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said in Jakarta on Friday.

Luhut said Indonesia had been disturbed by noisy, annoying comments from the public about the death penalty’s implementation. “So we have to calculate very carefully when using the death penalty,” he said.

According to 2015 data from the National Narcotics Agency, there are 14 drug convicts currently waiting to face the firing squad. 

Last year Indonesia put to death 14 drug convicts, including two Australians that were part of the Bali Nine group, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Source: The Jakarta Post, March 12 2016

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