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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…

Duterte: Death penalty a retribution not a deterrent

Philippines Police Officers
Philippine Police Officers
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday stressed the need to revive the death penalty, which he said, would serve as "retribution" for those who committed crimes.

He said those who insist that death penalty is not a deterrent to crime do not understand his position on the issue.

"The death penalty might be a deterrence to commit a crime but that is one school of thought," Duterte said.

"Death penalty to me is the retribution. It makes you pay for what you did," he added.

The death penalty was abolished in 1987 during the time of President Corazon Aquino but was revived in 1993 under President Fidel Ramos.

Crimes that were punishable by death include murder, rape, kidnapping and drug trafficking.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a devout Catholic, signed a law abolishing capital punishment in 2006.

Duterte reiterated that he would not hesitate to kill those who seek to destroy the youth, whom he said, is the future of the country.

"Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. Do not destroy my children because I will kill you," he said.

Duterte, who has pummeled critics of his strong anti-crime drive, said he would just ignore Commission on Human Rights Chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon, who has been critical of his plans.

"If you know Gascon or if he is your friend, tell him I won't follow him,"he said.

Duterte also has an unusual threat against incoming Sen. Leila de Lima, who vowed to look into the law enforcement operations to be launched by the next administration.

"If De Lima does not shut her mouth, I will kill her - with love. If she agrees, I don't know," he said.

Duterte also vowed to help policemen who will face criminal charges for performing their role in his ruthless campaign against criminality and illegal drugs.

"I will take care of you I will protect you," Duterte said in a speech delivered before local officials in Sarangani.

"If you kill 1,000, tell them it was ordered by Duterte. Period. I will deal with everybody," he added.

Duterte, however, warned law enforcers not to lie to him or use his name to justify illegal activities.

"I told the police and law enforcers not to embarrass me by lying. If you committed a crime for personal reason, tell me and I'll help you. But do not lie to me," he said at a business forum in Davao City last Monday.

Duterte, whose successful presidential campaign has been attributed to his tough stance against crime, has vowed to suppress criminality in 3 to 6 months. He has also offered bounty to people who will kill drug lords and has encouraged ordinary citizens to arrest drug pushers in their communities.

"If you (policemen) are subpoenaed by the Ombudsman, tell them to send it to Duterte," the tough-talking leader said.

Duterte, who served as Davao City mayor for 22 years, also warned local executives who are involved in the narcotics trade.

"To the mayors who are into drugs: I will catch up with you. If we see each other, if we meet in one corner, I don't know. I'm warning you especially those who are still in government," he added.

Duterte previously told lawmakers that at least 35 local executives are involved in illegal drugs trade.

Reacting to the recent deaths of suspected drug pushers, Duterte said some drug lords may have silenced their accomplices to escape criminal liability.

Source: Philippine Star, June 22, 2016

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