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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…

Sacramento preacher celebrates Orlando shootings, urges more deaths

Some of the victims of  the Orlando shooter. Who they were...
Sacramento Baptist preacher Roger Jimenez took to the pulpit hours after a mass shooting in Orlando, Florida that left 50 dead and dozens injured. But instead of words of comfort, Jimenez offered up praise for the killer and urged more killings of LGBT people.

“Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today?” the pastor of Verity Baptist Church said in the sermon. “Um no, I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.”

“We don’t need to do anything to help. As far as I’m concerned, Orlando is a little bit safer tonight,” he said. “If we lived in a righteous government, they should round them all up and put them up against a firing wall, and blow their brains out.”

Local activist Sandrea Nelson, Pride director of the Davis-Phoenix coalition, gave a profound statement to the Sacramento Bee when asked about Jimenez’ comments from the pulpit.

“He’s not a man of God. He is not teaching religion,” he said.

Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson also condemned Jimenez’ statements in a post on Twitter.

Video of Jimenez’s “sermon” was quickly taken down by YouTube for violating the site’s hate speech policy. 

Source: LGBTQ Nation, Bil Browning, June 14, 2016

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