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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: Kho Jabing to be hanged next Friday

Kho Jabing
Kho Jabing
Family of Sarawakian convicted of murder in Singapore told to make arrangements for his body to be flown back to Miri after execution.

Sarawakian Kho Jabing is set to be executed by Singapore's prison authorities next Friday.

According to Malay Mail Online today, the convicted killer's sister, Jumai Kho said that they received a letter 2 days ago from Singapore, notifying them of the scheduled execution.

She said the letter, which was addressed to her mother Lenduk Baling, asked the family to make preparations to take Jabing's body back to Miri after the execution. Lenduk is in shock and unable to accept the news.

Jumai said the family was working with NGO "We Believe in 2nd Chances", to fly to Singapore, and are also assessing the options available.

She told the portal that the family had been under the impression that Kho would be spared the noose, pending a fresh clemency petition they had intended to push through last month.

Kho's 1st plea for clemency was rejected in October last year.

Kho, 31, from Ulu Baram, Sarawak, was found guilty of killing a Chinese construction worker with a tree branch in 2008 during a robbery attempt. He was sentenced to death in 2010.

In 2013, the Singapore government amended the mandatory death penalty that gave judges the discretion to choose between death and life imprisonment with caning for murder, as well as certain cases of drug trafficking.

In August 2013, following revisions to the mandatory death penalty laws, the High Court sentenced him to life and 24 strokes of the cane instead. It was then again revised to the death penalty after the prosecution challenged the decision before the Court of Appeal.

Kho was scheduled to be executed on Nov 6, but received a stay the day before after his lawyer filed a motion raising points of law about the case's handling.

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com, May 13, 2016


Halt Kho Jabing's Execution


Source: Amnesty International USA, May 12, 2016

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