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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…

Iran: 10 Prisoners Executed at Rajai Shahr Prison in One Day

Execution in Iran
The execution spree of the Iranian authorities continues with ten executions carried out on Wednesday July 20 at Rajai Shahr Prison. 

About 38 executions have been reported in Iran in the past week.

Iran Human Rights (July 21 2016): A group of ten prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison (Alborz province, northern Iran) on Wednesday July 20, according to sources close to Iran Human Rights (IHR). 

The prisoners were reportedly on death row on unrelated murder charges.

IHR calls on the international community to draw attention to the rising number of executions in Iran. "Although these prisoners were executed for criminal charges, the main goal of the executions is to spread fear in the society. The International community should not close its eyes to the arbitrary executions in Iran," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

The prisoners had been transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday July 17 in preparation for their executions scheduled for Wednesday. 

Iran Human Rights has identified four of the prisoners as Mohsen Babaie, Mehdi Keshavarz, Reza Teymouri and Mohsen Khanmohammadi.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and state media, have been silent about these ten executions. About 38 executions have been reported in Iran in the past week.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 21, 2016


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