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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: At Least 4 Executed For Drug Offences

Execution in Iran
2 of the 4 prisoners who were transferred to solitary confinement on Wednesday 27. April were hanged yesterday morning in the Central Prison of Karaj (west of Tehran). 

According to close sources these prisoners were identified as "Mehdi Bagherzadeh" and "Esmaeil Tanabi".

Iran Human Rights (IHR) had reported about the transfer of 4 prisoners (2 brothers) to solitary confinement in preparation for execution on April 27. 

All the 4 prisoners were sentenced to death for possession and trafficking of 8 kilograms of heroin in one case.

Mehdi Bagherzadeh and his younger brother Abbas Bagherzadeh were the 2 brothers who were scheduled to be executed. 

Mehdi was executed while Abbas was together with another prisoner identified as "Farhad Esmaeili" were returned to their wards. 

Sources have reported that they remain under imminent danger of execution.

Another member of the Bagherzadeh family (Isa Bagherzadeh, another brother) was hanged 5 months ago.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 29, 2016

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