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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: Isolation cells ready for death row inmates

Nusakambangan prison island
Indonesia: Nusakambangan prison island, where executions are carried out.
The Central Java Law and Human Rights Agency, which holds authority over the prisons on Nusakambangan Island, confirmed that it recently built a number of isolation cells for inmates who are facing the death penalty.

The isolation cells will be used to separate death row inmates and other prisoners ahead of planned executions on the island.

"We have just completed a new 2-story block at the Batu Penitentiary on Nusakambangan with more than 10 cells. Later, the death row inmates will be placed in the isolated cells," the head of the Central Java Law and Human Rights Agency's corrections division, Molyanto, told The Jakarta Post on Sunday. 

He said a number of preparations have been made, including a security task force, an execution site and the isolation cells that will be used by the prisoners to meet their families, lawyers and spiritual guides.

"Everything will be ready in the near future. We're just waiting for the order," said Molyanto. 

The official order on when the executions will take place has not yet been made. "Various agencies are still coordinating. It's a matter of time before the Attorney General's Office issues the order," said Molyanto.

Source: Jakarta Post, July 18, 2016


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