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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…

Singapore: $177k worth of drugs seized in CNB operations

Singapore CNB
More than $177,000 worth of drugs have been seized in multiple operations by the Central Narcotics Board (CNB) this week.

The drug haul comprised more than 1.5kg of heroin, 329g of 'Ice', 80g of cannabis, 153 ecstasy tablets, 26 Erimin-5 tablets and ketamine.

Some 103 suspected drug offenders were also arrested in one 4-day operation, which started on Monday and ended on Friday (April 15).

This operation was supported by officers from the Singapore Police Force, and spanned areas including Tampines, Toa Payoh, Ang Mo Kio, Clementi, Punggol, Sembawang, Woodlands and Yishun.

In one of the the cases during the 4-day operation, 570g of heroin worth over $40,000 and more than $2,000 in cash were seized by officers.

The 1st arrest in this case was made on Wednesday in the vicinity of Upper Boon Keng Road, where a 52-year-old Singaporean man was caught with Erimin-5 tablets and drug paraphernalia.

Nearby, officers noticed a 60-year-old Singaporean man behaving suspiciously, and seized over 80g of heroin, seven Erimin-5 tablets and cash from him. Follow-up investigations led to the capture of a 28-year-old Malaysian man the next day, who was found with 450g of heroin in the vicinity of Somerset and is believed to have been a supplier.

The CNB is continuing its investigations into all of the suspects.

It reminded the public that the Misuse of Drugs Act allows for the death penalty if the amount of diamorphine (or pure heroin) trafficked exceeds 15g.

Source: Straits Times, April 15, 2016

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