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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…

Somalia executes 2 Al-Shabaab militants

Firing squad execution in Mogadishu, Somalia, in January 2014.
Firing squad execution in Mogadishu, Somalia, on January 4, 2014.
The Somali military court on Saturday executed 2 Al-Shabaab militants behind last year's murder of a female journalist who worked for state media.

The court found that Abdirisak Mohamed Barow, 28, and Hassan-Nur Ali Farah, 37, killed Hindiya Haji Mohamed, the journalist working for Radio Mogadishu and National Television on December 3 last year, Xinhua reported.

The execution by firing squad occurred at a field in General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu.

"Barow and Farah, were sentenced to a death penalty on March 20 and they are executed for their involvement and killing of the journalist, Hindiya Haji Mohamed," said 1 of the prosecutors.

The prosecutor added that the executed men were members of the AlAl-Shabaab militant group.

Hindiya was killed early December in 2015 while her husband, who was also a journalist for the same station, was killed on September 20 in 2012.

Somalia is considered to be one of the worst places where journalists operate. 

More than 25 journalists have been murdered in Somalia since 2007, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Source: Business-Standard, April 10, 2016

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