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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…

Indonesian Police Seize 70 Kilos of Crystal Meth in Tangerang Drug Bust

Indonesia meth bust (file photo)
Tangerang, Banten. Police confiscated more than 70 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in a drug bust at the Arcadia Housing Complex in Batuceper, a subdistrict of Tangerang, Banten, on Monday (23/05), shortly after they arrested two members of an international drug syndicate at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

Soekarno-Hatta Airport chief Sr. Comr. Roycke Harry Langie told Detikcom made the raid after receiving tip-offs from the two drug suspects—identified with initials S and A—who were arrested with 2.3 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in their possession at the airport on May 16.

Police learned that both suspects were members of an international drug syndicate which intended to smuggle a large amount of crystal methamphetamine from Taiwan.

The 70 kilos of crystal methamphetamine, known by its street name "sabu," found at theArcadia Housing Complex were packed into 14 different bags.

“The drugs belong to a Taiwan national and we are still investigating the case,” Roycke said in Tangerang on Monday night.

Roycke said the syndicate tried to smuggle the drugs by hiding them inside small generators.

“The drugs were hidden under a 20-centimeter long steel sheet inside the small generators. They're quite hard to detect. We spent at least four hours opening up the generators,” said Roycke.

Last month, police seized more than 80 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, most of them smuggled from China and Iran and in chocolate parcels and glue bottles, in a three-week operation across the Greater Jakarta area. Nine people, including four Malaysian, Chinese, Iranian and Nigerian nationals, were arrested during the bust.

Source: Jakarta Globe, May 24, 2016

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