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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's Attorney-General says death row inmate executions' imminent return just a 'joke'

Bali's Kerobokan prison
Bali's Kerobokan prison
The prospect of Indonesia reverting back to death row prisoner executions in a matter of weeks has been clarified as only "a joke".

A spokesman for Indonesian Attorney-General HM Prasetyo said the minister was "joking" when he recently said the nation may resume executions after the rainy season.

Indonesian ministers have repeatedly said the nation would begin executing death row prisoners when its economy picks up.

Asked for a specific date, Attorney-General HM Prasetyo told Indonesia's MetroTV: "We will have to see because it's rainy season now. We have to wait until the weather get better."

The wet season normally ends in April.

A spokesman for the minister told the ABC the minister was not being serious.

"He means the execution is a priority, but it needs preparation and of course the priority for Indonesia currently is the economy," he said.

Indonesia has not killed any death row prisoners for almost 12 months and authorities said the country would resume executions when the economy improved.

Australians ringleaders of the Bali Nine, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed by firing squad in Indonesia in April last year.

Source: abc.net.au, Adam Harvey, April 7, 2016

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