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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…

South Sudan: 2 soldiers executed in Wau

South Sudan army's (SPLA) 5th division in Western Bahr el Ghazal state on Friday executed 2 soldiers charged with murder and various crimes.

The duo were arrested on 17 July and kept at Wau central prison after for allegedly murdering a couple at a residential area situated within Wau town.

They faced firing squad in front of a military parade at the army division headquarters. Hundreds of Wau residents also witnessed it.

Wau town mayor, Akol Akol Ajith, said the 2 soldiers were sentenced to death after the military high court found them guilty.

"The order to execute these soldiers comes from above and this is what will warn the soldiers from involving in such crimes," said Akol.

No one, according to the town mayor, is above the stipulated laws.

A military judge cautioned soldiers against violating army regulations.

"This is a warning to those soldiers who used to violate the military regulation, it is also what tell the people of South Sudan that any soldier found committing crime against civilian should be deal with," a judge, who preferred anonymity said on Friday.

This is the 1st time such an execution has taken place at the army's 5th division headquarters in Western Bahr el Ghazal state over the years.

Source: Sudan Tribune, July 30, 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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