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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…

Indonesia Plans to Execute 18 Drug Convicts This Year, 30 in 2017

The Indonesian government plans to execute 30 death row convicts in 2017, a deputy attorney general says.

"The number of convicts to be executed is expected to be 30" next year, Deputy Attorney General Bambang Waluyo told lawmakers during a parliamentary hearing on Monday, Tribun News reported.

This year, his office is preparing to execute 18 convicts after the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday that ends the holy month of Ramadan, expected to fall on July 6, Bambang reportedly said.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office could not be reached by phone.

At least 121 people are on death row in Indonesia, including 35 foreigners, mostly convicted of drug-related crimes, according to the Justice Ministry.

They include Mary Jane Veloso from the Philippines, Lindsay Sandiford from Britain and Frenchman Serge Atlaoui.

Last year Indonesia executed 14 convicts, all but two of them foreigners, in a move that drew international condemnation.

Australian duo Myuran Sukumaran and fellow convicted drug smuggler Andrew Chan were among those executed by firing squad on Indonesia's Nusakambangan island on April 29, 2015.

Under Indonesian law, each convict would face a squad of 10 gunmen.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office in 2014, has taken a tough stance against drug trafficking, saying that the country is facing a drug emergency.

Source: The Mercury, June 13, 2016


Indonesia Plans to Execute 18 Drug Convicts This Year, 30 in 2017

Jakarta. The Indonesian government plans to execute 18 drug convicts this year, and 30 more in 2017, Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo said on Monday (13/06).

The third round of executions will take place on the notorious Nusakambangan Island in Cilacap, Central Java, after the Idul Fitri holidays early next month, Prasetyo said during a meeting with House of Representatives Commission III, which oversees legal affairs.

"I hope there will be no changes. We have planned it to take place after the fasting month at Nusakambangan. Some convicts [on death row] have been moved there," Prasetyo said, as quoted by Detik.com.

The number of prisoners in this round of executions is still being decided, he said, as authorities weigh up the Nusakambangan facility and its capacity.

Prasetyo said the government would execute 30 more drug convicts in 2017 as it ramps up its war against drugs.

"The budget has been allocated for the death penalty. We still have 58 drug convicts on the death row list, and another 152 death row inmates for crimes such as murder, terrorism and others," the attorney general said.

Indonesia executed 14 convicts by firing squad last year, including citizens of Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Nigeria, despite repeated pleas for mercy from foreign governments and international organizations and activists.

Australia temporarily recalled its ambassador to Indonesia after the executions of two of the infamous "Bali Nine" drug smugglers, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. The relationship has since been restored.

Source: Jakarta Globe, June 13, 2016

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