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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…

Singapore: Man posts photos of burning Singapore flag on Instagram

Singapore flag
An Instagram user has sparked fury online by claiming to have burned a Singapore flag and challenging authorities to give him the death penalty.

2 photos uploaded by the user show part of a Singapore flag in flames. "They have to throw the death penalty on me if I keep doing this right?" he wrote on one post.

In another post, he wrote: "I don't enjoy patriotism/this is an act of treason/will something happen yet?"

The user, whose profile page is public, was lambasted for treating the national emblem with disrespect.

Some netizens questioned the motive behind his actions while others advised him to remove the photo to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

In one of his replies, he tells a netizen to "go back doing your slave s***". He also tells him to "eat s*** and die".

Despite this show of defiance, the user subsequently removed the post, puzzling netizens even further.

Many have continued to leave comments on his other Instagram posts.Under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act, it is an offence to treat the flag with disrespect.

Those who do so could be fined up to $1,000.The rules state that the flag should not be allowed to touch the ground. When displayed, the flag should also be clean, undamaged and not faded.

Flags also cannot be appropriated for any commercial use, and they should not be used as part of decoration, attire and private funeral activities.

According to the National Heritage Board, flags that have been damaged or are worn-out should be disposed of properly, and "not left visible in dustbins".

Torn or worn-out flags should be packed into a sealed black trash bag before disposal.

Source: asiaone.com, July 29, 2016


Indian-origin woman, daughter charged with murder in Singapore

A 58-year-old Indian-origin woman and her 36-year-old daughter have been charged with murdering a Burmese maid at their home here and may face death penalty, a media report said on Friday.

Prema Naraynasamy and Gaiyathiri Murugayan were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly murdering 24-year-old Piang Ngaih Don earlier this week, the report said.

According to police, they received a call on Tuesday morning for assistance. When they arrived, Piang was found dead.

A court has extended their police remand.

Both the accused will be produced in the court on Thursday. If they are convicted of murder, the duo will face the death penalty.

Gaiyathiri, whose husband is believed to have worked in the police force, has a minor daughter.

Source: The Times of India, July 28, 2016

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