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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…

Tanzania Told to Halt Executions

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Tanzania government has once again been ordered by the African Court of Human and People's Rights (AfCHPR) to halt the execution of 2 murder convicts facing death the penalty.

In its ruling after 2 applications by the convicts, 11 judges of the judicial organ based in Arusha unanimously orders the government to refrain from executing the death penalty against Amini Juma and Deogratius Nicholas Jeshi.

The 2 were convicted of murder charges at different dates and different locations by the High Court of Tanzania and had their convictions upheld by the Court of Appeal of Tanzania, which is the highest Court in the country.

"The Court unanimously orders the Respondent (Tanzania) to refrain from executing the death penalty against the Applicants (Mr Juma and Jeshi) pending the determination of the Application," they ruled last week during the Court session.

The Respondent was also ordered to report to the Court (AfCHPR) within 60 days from the date of receipt of the Order (June 3rd) on measures taken to implement the Order. Both applicants are currently detained in prisons awaiting execution of the death penalty.

Juma, currently detained at Maweni prison in Tanga, was convicted for murder by the High Court of Tanzania at Arusha on September 18, 2008 and sentenced to life imprisonment. His appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed on October 17, 2011.

Source: The Citizen, July 8, 2016

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