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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…

Indonesia announces next 10 to be executed, all foreigners convicted of drug crimes

It has been nearly a year since April 29, 2015, the last time Indonesia carried out the death penalty. On that day, a firing squad executed eight people convicted of drug-related crimes, despite the pleas and outcry of the international community. 


But various officials since then have been adamant that executions would eventually resume, and now we know they were quite serious. Yesterday, the government announced the names of the next 10 people set to be executed in Indonesia. All of them are foreigners who have been found guilty of various drug-related crimes.

Of the 10 foreigners set to executed, four are Nigerian (Humphrey Ejike, Eugene Ape, Ekpere Dike Ole Kamma, and Frank Chidebere Nwakome), two are Malaysian (Lee Chee Hen and Tham Tuck Yin), two are American (Frank Amado, and Lim Jit Wee), one is Zimbabwean (Federik Luttar) and one is Senegalese (Seck Osmane).

With the exception of Senegal, all of those set to be executed are from countries where the death penalty is still practiced. Some have speculated that might be to shield Indonesia from the same kind of criticism the government received during the last round of executions from countries such as Australia where the death penalty has been abolished.

Not included among those set to be executed is Mary Jane Veloso, the Filipino woman who was given a last minute stay of execution last year after officials from the Philippines successfully lobbied the Indonesian government to allow her to live while the woman who allegedly tricked her into being a drug smuggler underwent investigation and trial.

Also not included on the list is Frenchman Serge Atlaoui, who had also been set to be part of last year’s executions. The government said Atlaoui has exhausted all of legal options to avoid the firing squad when courts dismissed his bid to challenge the president’s rejection of his plea for clemency in June

Chief Public Prosecutor Sudung Situmorang said the next step in the process was to get the greenlight from the Attorney General to move forward.

"It is being coordinated with the attorney general, we are awaiting a reply to the letter we sent him," Sudung told Harian Terbit yesterday.

No date or timeline has been set for this next round of executions. Sudung said the timing was at the discretion of the attorney general HM Prasetyo.

“We will see later, as I said it is still rainy season. We are waiting for the weather to be good,” Prasetyo told Media Indonesia yesterday. However, a spokesman for the AGO apparently told ABC correspondent Adam Harvey that the attorney general was just "joking" when he made that statement.

Source: Coconuts Jakarta, April 7, 2016

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