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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…

Iran: 30 Executions Carried Out in Last Ten Days

Iranian authorities have hanged four prisoners in northwestern Iran on drug charges. This brings the total of prisoners who have been executed in Iran in the last ten days to 30.

Iran Human Rights (APR 19 2016): On the morning of Tuesday April 19, four prisoners were reportedly hanged on drug charges at Urmia's central prison, Darya. 

According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, the names of the four prisoners are: Majid Moradi, Ahmad Mohi, Alireza Sarian, and Mansour Raziani. Iranian officials sources, including state media and the Judiciary, have been silent about these executions.

The rate of executions in Iran had significantly decreased during a three-month period, from the outset of 2016 until after the Iranian parliamentary election and the Nowruz holiday. 

However, executions have resumed since April 2016. 

According to Iran Human Rights, 30 people have been executed in Iran in the last ten days alone.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 19, 2016

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