FEATURED POST

'Express lane to death': Texas seeks approval to speed up death penalty appeals, execute more quickly

Image
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…

Filipina death row prisoner Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso celebrated women's rights at Wirogunan prison in Indonesia

Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso celebrated women's rights on Saturday during Kartini Day at Wirogunan prison in Indonesia
Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso celebrated women's rights on Saturday
during Kartini Day at Wirogunan prison in Indonesia.
Filipina death row prisoner Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso celebrated women's rights on Saturday during Kartini Day at Wirogunan prison in Indonesia.

Ms Veloso, along with 107 other female prisoners, took part in a kebaya fashion show and a singing competition to recognise the event, honoring national heroine Raden Adjeng Kartini and Indonesian women's empowerment and gender equality.

Dressed in an elaborate sheer and embroidered long sleeved top over a long dress, Ms Veloso appeared in good spirits, joining the other prisoners in the fashion parade.

Last year Ms Veloso was listed for execution along with Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, after she was arrested in Adisucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta in 2010 with 2.6kg of heroin.

Her execution was postponed just minutes before she was set to face the firing squad.

Darwin lawyer Felicity Gerry, who specialises in human trafficking cases, worked feverishly to save Mary Jane Veloso's life for just over three weeks.

Ms Gerry, a Briton who had transplanted with her family to Darwin, had been working on the case of drug trafficker Lindsay Sandiford - the English legal secretary arrested for smuggling cocaine into Bali and also sentenced to death.

On April 7 this year, she spotted an email from Migrante International, the international migrants' rights body, which pleaded Veloso's case that she was an impoverished Filipina maid recruited to work in Indonesia in 2010 and carry luggage loaded with 2.6kg of heroin.

By that time no date was yet set, but the executions of eight drug dealers on Nusakambangan was a looming certainty and an eleventh hour bid to save Veloso had sprung up.

'Mary Jane comes from a very, very poor family who had got this very public spirited set of lawyers, the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL), to see what they could do,' Ms Gerry told Daily Mail Australia.

'People were coming out on the street to sign the petition to save Mary Jane. I know the law in human trafficking cases. I thought "I can help". I contacted Edre Olalia [NUPL secretary General).'

Ms Gerry emailed Mr Olalia on April 9. The following day she had a Skype meeting with Migrante International and NUPL.

'There were two issues, applying the human trafficking law to protect the victim and and telling authorities she was a human trafficking victim as defined by the law, someone who is deceived or suffers an abuse of trust or abuse of her vulnerability.

'Mary Jane was duped into going abroad to work as a maid and into carrying suitcases. Indonesia has mandatory legal protection for human trafficking. Actually, it has better laws than Australia.'

The race to save Mary Jane Veloso from the firing squad was on, and the story of Ms Gerry's bid was documented by ABC's Foreign Correspondent.

On April 16, Ms Gerry filed the legal complaint against the Filipino recruiters who had trafficked Ms Veloso.

The investigation was in train. On the streets of the Philippines, 250,000 people had come out to sign the petition to save the young woman's life.

On April 24, the Indonesian Government announced the 72-hour countdown for Veloso's execution along with Chan, Sukumaran, and five others. Up to 4000 Filipinos started camping outside the Indoresian embassy in Manila.


Source: Mail Online, April 24, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Iran: Execution Of A Sports Coach In Hamadan

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Warden Describes Life on Texas Death Row in Delacruz Testimony

Alabama executes Walter Moody

California death row inmate to be freed; no retrial planned

Aging death row: Is executing old or infirm inmates cruel?

Oklahoma Officials Endorse Nitrogen Executions As 'Humane,' But Some Medical Experts Aren't Sure

Jeff Sessions: It's OK with feds if Alabama executes judge's killer

A 10-Minute Trial, a Death Sentence: Iraqi Justice for ISIS Suspects

California has over 700 people on death row and executions could begin soon