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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…

Two Afghan Citizens Hanged In Iran; Lawyer Carried Out The Executions

A lawyer reportedly has carried out executions in one of Tehran's prisons. 

According to the state-run Iranian news agency Fars, 2 Afghan citizens were hanged in a prison in Tehran. 

The prisoners were reportedly convicted of several cases of rape and robbery. 

The names of the prisoners, the date of their executions, or the exact location of the executions were not revealed in the report, which was published on Sunday June 5.

A lawyer for 1 of the complainants reportedly carried out the executions. 

The lawyer, who was not identified by name, told Fars News Agency: "On the request of 1 of the complainants, I personally carried out the punishments." This is despite that the prisoners were reportedly charged with rape and not murder.

According to Iranian laws, families of murder victims may carry out the execution of the murderer. 

Iran may be the only country where the execution of rape [convicts] could be carried out by the lawyer of a complainant.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) condemns the executions. "It is outrageous that lawyers are carrying out executions. Iran's leaders are responsible for promoting a culture of death penalty in Iran," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson for IHR.

Source: Iran Human Rights, June 6, 2016

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