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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…

Northern Iran: Four Prisoners Executed Including One in Public

25 July 2016 unidentified prisoner hanged in public in Kermanshah province, Iran.jpg
A prisoner is hanged in public in Kermanshah province, Iran, on July 25, 2016.
Iranian authorities reportedly executed three prisoners in the province of Gilan on Saturday July 23 and one prisoner in public on Monday July 25 in the Kermanshah province.

Iran Human Rights (July 25 2016): On Saturday July 23 three prisoners were reportedly hanged at Lakan, Rasht's central prison (Gilan province, northern Iran). 

The press department of the Judiciary in Gilan has identified the prisoners as: F.B., 40 years old, charged with trafficking 659 grams of crystal meth; A.M., 32 years old, charged with possession of 965 grams of heroin; and H.D., 31 years old, charged with murder.

On Monday July 25 an unidentified prisoner was hanged in public in Sonqor County (Kermanshah province, northwestern Iran) in front of a crowd of people. 

According to state run media outlet, Mehr News, the man was on death row for murdering a child. 

Released photos from this public execution show children were present in the crowd of people who watched the hanging.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 26, 2016

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