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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…

Mississippi: Death Penalty Expanded To Cover Other Crimes

JACKSON,MS (WCBI) – A bill expanding Mississippi’s capital punishment law is heading to the Senate. 

The State House today okayed a measure that would call for the death penalty for people convicted of killing a broader range of public servants. 

The bill protects first responders, ambulance workers, and paramedics. 

The House version was expanded to also include uniformed security guards and utility workers.

The Senate must now pass the bill before it becomes law.

Source: WCBI, March 8, 2016

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