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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 pushes ‘Islamic human rights’ excluding LGBT people

Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal.
"Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal."
"Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal." -- Kazem Gharibabadi, International Deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights.

The Iranian government plans to host an international human rights conference in the city of Qom in August to discuss Islamic Human Rights principles, which will exclude LGBT rights and other issues “that are based on Western cultural standards and lifestyle,” as well as issues that ” are not universally accepted.”

The announcement about the upcoming conference was made [June 29] by Mr. Kazem Gharibabadi, the International Deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, affiliated with the Iranian Judiciary. During his comments, Mr. Gharibabadi’s was specifically critical of the inclusion of LGBT rights in various human rights treaties:

“Some countries refuse to acknowledge that the principles of human rights should be, at times, implemented based on the culture and dominant values of each country. For example, these countries consider homosexuality as a human rights issue, which is not accepted by Islamic countries. Those countries pressure others to follow their standards and seek the universality of human rights.
“Of course, we do not deny the universality of some aspects of human rights, but not everything that those countries want to promote should be considered as a human rights issue. Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal. We need to see if the prevailing culture of each country allows such issues to be seen as a human rights issue or not.”

In his interview with the the official website of the Iranian Parliament, Mr. Gharibabadi clarified that Iran’s ongoing effort to promote the Islamo-centric human rights values is done through research, documentation, and facilitated discourse through a partnership with the Iranian Foreign Ministry. According to Mr. Gharibabadi, “The Council has commissioned several research and publication projects to various academic centers, and is expecting to launch one or two of these reports in multiple languages by March 2017.”

According to Mr. Gharibabadi, there are currently consultations with other Islamic countries underway on how to use Islamic Human Rights doctrines in interpreting and drafting international human rights documents, so that Islamic human rights principles can become universally acceptable.

For more information in Persian, read the full text of that story in Icana.ir.

Source: Erasing 76 crimes, Colin Stewart, July 1, 2016

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