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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 executes two citizens for murder

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia executed two citizens convicted of murder on Wednesday, raising to 81 the number of death sentences carried out in the ultra-conservative kingdom this year.

Dhafer and Hussein al-Mutliq were found guilty of killing fellow Saudis Azeb and Mahdi al-Moamer in a dispute between the two families, the interior ministry said.

They were both executed in Najran, in the south, a ministry statement carried by the official SPA news agency said.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

The executions so far this year include 47 for “terrorism” carried out in a single day on January 2.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people, most of them for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP count.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia last year was the highest for two decades.

The kingdom is one of the world’s top executioners, although its tally in 2015 was far behind those of China and Iran.

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 30, 2016


Saudi executes Pakistani convicted of murder

RIYADH: Saudi authorities executed a Pakistani convicted of killing a Bangladeshi woman on Sunday, raising to 79 the number of death sentences they have carried out this year.

Elias Ismail was found guilty of fatally stabbing Hajar Hussein during a robbery and was executed in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, an interior ministry statement carried by the official SPA news agency said.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

The executions so far this year include 47 for “terrorism” carried out in a single day on January 2.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia executed 153 people, most of them for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP count.

Human rights group Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia last year was the highest for two decades.

The kingdom is one of the world’s top executioners, although its tally in 2015 was far behind those of China and Iran

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 27, 2016

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