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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…

Pakistan convict executed, another gets a lifeline

A murder convict was hanged at the district jail on Tuesday morning. The execution of another convict was put off on Tuesday after his family reached a settlement with the petitioners.

Jail authorities said Asghar Ali, a resident of Khushab, had murdered his brother, his brother's wife, and their 4 children over property in Noshera, Khushab, in 2007. 

They said a trial court had sentenced him to death. Later, Sargodha Sessions Judge Abdul Nasir had issued black warrants for Ali. 

The jail authorities handed over the body to Ali's family.

Separately, the execution of a murder convict was put off after the petitioner settled with the defendant. 

A Prisons spokesperson said a trial court had sentenced Haq Nawaz, son of Bakhsh, to death for murdering his mother-in-law Ejaz Bibi in a Kotwali City police precinct, Jhang, in March 2001.

Black warrants had been issued for Haq Nawaz's execution to be carried out on May 3 at Jhang District Jail. It was put off after the petitioner said they had settled with the defendant

Source: The Express Tribune, May 4, 2016

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