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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 to Execute Convicts From Nigeria and Zimbabwe This Year: Attorney General

President Joko Widodo has pledged to increase the number of executions this year
"President Widodo has pledged to increase the number of executions this year."
Jakarta. Indonesia plans to execute this year at least two foreign convicts, one from Nigeria and another from Zimbabwe, the attorney general said on Wednesday.

President Joko Widodo has pledged to increase the number of executions this year and next as part of his crackdown on drugs.

Asked if there were any foreigners on the list of convicts to be executed, Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo told reporters: “We have foreigners, among them from Nigeria and Zimbabwe.”

He did not elaborate on the crimes of which they were convicted.


A 59-year-old British women, Lindsay Sandiford, was sentenced to death after being convicted in 2013 of trying to smuggle cocaine worth $2.5 million into the country.

A Philippine maid, Mary Jane Veloso, got a last-minute reprieve last year in response to a request from Manila after an employment recruiter, whom Veloso had accused of planting drugs in her luggage, gave herself up to police in the Philippines.

Last year Indonesia executed 14 people, mostly foreign drug traffickers. Prasetyo previously said at least 16 prisoners would be executed this year and more than double that number next year.

Source: Reuters, July 14, 2016


Attorney General Should Not Hesitate on Executions: Lawmaker

Jakarta. House of Representatives Commission III member Ruhut Sitompul said all state institutions partnering with the commission, which oversees legal affairs, have made the maximum effort to enforce the law, despite some having failed to prosecute suspects or fulfill their legal mandates.

He said one example is the performance of the Attorney General's Office (AGO) under the leadership of H.M. Prasetyo, who has hesitated to order the execution of death-row inmates convicted for drug offences.

"I call on the attorney general, in regard to drug crime, that if there has been a legal review, there is no need for another. One review, then execute," Ruhut said in Jakarta on Thursday (14/07).

He reminded the attorney general that legal reviews should not be used to block executions, as the death penalty is still considered legal punishment in Indonesia.

The Democratic Party lawmaker also criticized the AGO's losses in pretrial motions, specifically with regard to those cases that have been in the public spotlight.

"I think Mr. Prasetyo has also worked hard, but when it comes to pretrial motions, as I have always said, [prosecutors] should present two forms of strong evidence when declaring someone a suspect. If they don't [have any evidence], don't [declare someone a suspect]," Ruhut said.

He said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo should assess law enforcement efforts, based on the fact that every state institution should abide by his decisions.

Source: Jakarta Globe, July 14, 2016

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