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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 hangs seven prisoners in one day

Iran, execution
NCRI - Iran's fundamentalist regime hanged on Wednesday a group of six prisoners in a jail in north-western Iran and a seventh prisoner in the north-east of the country.

The six men were hanged at 2am on July 27 in the central prison in the city of Orumieh (Urmia), the provincial capital of Iran's Western Azerbaijan Province.

They had been transferred to solitary confinement on Tuesday in preparation for their execution.

They were identified as: Rahman Fouladi, Abdolmajid Herkuli, Abdollah Qaderi, Changiz Shiri, Mojtaba Shirkhani and Ali Talati.

They were accused of drugs-related charges.

A seventh man, identified as Reza Sabzevari, 32, from the town of Nishabur (Nishapur), was executed in the nearby city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran. He had two children aged two and 10 and had been locked up in Mashhad Prison for some 18 months.

The mullahs’ regime hanged a man in public in the town of Songhor, western Iran, on Monday. On Saturday the regime hanged three prisoners in a jail in the Central Prison of Rasht, northern Iran.

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 three 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: NCRI, July 27, 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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