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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…

Saudi Arabia Urges Need For Death Penalty After Sharp Rise In ‘Homosexual’ Arrests

Citing a threat to the “social fabric” of the nation, the Saudi Arabian judiciary is proposing the death penalty for men found guilty of engaging in or soliciting homosexual activity as well as “men’s attempts to look like women.”

Describing them as “perverts,” officials have noted the deleterious effects social media are having on their citizenry. They note the recent appearance of the hashtag #I_am_gay_will_not_be_deterred as proof of the potential upheaval this devout Muslim nation could face if stronger measures are not adopted.

“Some defended an individual’s freedom to express his sexuality, while most users said that homosexuality is a transgression and a capital offense. “It has nothing to do with freedom, it’s breaching the laws of Allah,” wrote one commenter on Twitter. “When a man has sex with another man, God is trembling.”

A recent spate of news has emerged indicating the seriousness nature of the punishment people face when accused of anything remotely ‘gay.’ As we reported here Monday, a doctor was arrested after hanging a rainbow flag outside his home. (He was released on his own recognizance, stating he did not know of the flag’s symbolism and only hung it because his child found the colors ‘pretty.’)

At the same time, Okaz, a Saudi Arabian daily based out of Jeddah, reports that a man in his 50s was arrested for making online sexual advances to men. While being questioned, he begged police to forgive him and said he wouldn’t do it again.

Combating homosexuality remains one of the major goals of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV), along with its campaign against consumption of alcohol and the practice of magic. 

Source: The Gaily Grind, Victor Hoff, March 30, 2016

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