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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…

Bangladesh: Human chain demands death penalty for Konika's killer

Human chain in front of Shaheed Satu Hall in Chapainawabganj
Different women's and non-governmental organisations formed a human chain in front of Shaheed Setu Hall in Chapainawabganj town yesterday, demanding capital punishment of the killer of schoolgirl Konika Rani.

Activists of Jago Nari Banhishikha, Bangladesh Mohila Awami League, Jubo Mohila League, Bangladesh Girls Guide and several other non-governmental organisations joined the hour long programme from 10:00am.

Addressing a rally at the venue, the speakers demanded speedy trial and capital punishment of killer Abdul Malek, who murdered Konika Rani and injured her three classmates.

They later submitted a memorandum to the home minister through the deputy commissioner in Chapainawabganj.

Among others, local women leaders Gouri Chand Barman, Nurunnahar, Shahanaz Begum, Halima Khatun and advocate Yesmin Sultana addressed the rally.

On May 27, Konika Rani, 14, a Class X student of Mohipur SM Dwimukhi High School in Sadar upazila, was hacked to death by drug addict Abdul Malek around 9:15am.

Konika's three classmates Tarin Afroz, 15, Tanzima Khatun, 14, and Moriom Akhtar, 14, also sustained serious injuries in the attack. The injured girls are still undergoing treatment at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.

Villagers caught Malek and handed him over to the police, Officer-in-Charge Mazharul Islam of Sadar Model Police Station said.

Konika's mother Anjali Rani filed a murder case against Abdul Malek with the police station the same night, the OC added.

Source: The Daily Star, June 6, 2016

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