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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 will not execute a European this year: Attorney General

Serge Atlaoui, his wife Sabine and their son
Serge Atlaoui, his wife Sabine and their son
Indonesia will not execute a European this year, Indonesian Attorney General  H. M. Prasetyo said on Wednesday. 

Prasetyo thus confirmed that the death sentence against French drug convict Serge Atlaoui will not be carried out in the next and forthcoming round of executions.

Two foreign prisoners, one Nigerian and a Zimbabwean, will face the firing squad, Prasetyo said

Relief

Several foreigners sentenced to death for drug trafficking will therefore benefit from a reprieve in 2016. 

Serge Atlaoui was granted an eleventh-hour temporary stay of execution on technical grounds in May 2015.

"It's a relief, it's reassuring, but the fight is not over yet. And I can't possibly celebrate knowing that the relatives of the inmates to be executed will suffer," Serge's wife said Wednesday night.

Sabine Atlaoui travelled to Nusakambangan penal island on Monday, while uncertainty was still hanging over the fate of her husband who did not yet know whether he would be included in the third round of executions.

Eight executed in May 2015

"You can't imagine how happy I am to see you," the Frenchman said to his wife and five-year-old son he hasn't seen for a year.

Serge Atlaoui and Filipina drug mule Mary Jane Veloso were spared at the last moment in late May 2015. Eight were then executed by firing squad, including two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Source: Le Républicain Lorrain, Alain Morvan, translated from the French by DPN, July 13, 2016


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