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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 regime hangs 3 in prison; man set to be hanged in public on Monday

Public hanging in Iran
Iran: Medieval and barbaric punishments
Iran's fundamentalist regime on Saturday hanged 3 prisoners in a jail in northern Iran. The regime is set to hang a man in public on Monday.

In a statement on Saturday, the regime's judiciary in Gilan Province, northern Iran, announced that the 3 prisoners were hanged in the presence of judicial officials in the Central Prison of Rasht. They were identified only by their initials and ages: F. B., 40; A. M., 32; and H. D., 31.

An unidentified prisoner will be hanged in public in the town of Songhor, western Iran, at dawn on Monday, state media reported.

The public execution will take place at the former site of the oil stocks, next to the town's power terminal, the state-run Soheil-e Songhor website reported on Sunday.

The mullahs' regime hanged another 9 prisoners on Wednesday in the city of Karaj, north-west of Tehran.

The regime hanged 18 prisoners last weekend, including 2 cases in public. A woman was among those hanged on July 17.

The regime hanged 9 prisoners collectively on July 13 in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj.

More than 270 Members of the European Parliament signed a joint statement on Iran last month, calling on the European Union to "condition" its relations with Tehran to an improvement of human rights.

The MEPs who were from all the EU Member States and from all political groups in the Parliament said they are concerned about the rising number of executions in Iran after Hassan Rouhani took office as President 3 years ago.

Amnesty International in its April 6 annual Death Penalty report covering the 2015 period wrote: "Iran put at least 977 people to death in 2015, compared to at least 743 the year before."

"Iran alone accounted for 82% of all executions recorded" in the Middle East and North Africa, the human rights group said.

There have been more than 2,500 executions during Hassan Rouhani's tenure as President. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran in March announced that the number of executions in Iran in 2015 was greater than any year in the last 25 years. Rouhani has explicitly endorsed the executions as examples of "God's commandments" and "laws of the parliament that belong to the people."

Source: NCR-Iran, July 25, 2016

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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