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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…

Two executed in Iran over drug charges

Execution in Iran
Iran Human Rights (JULY 29 2016): Two prisoners were reportedly executed this week, one in central Iran and the other in the northeastern region of the country.

According to a report by unofficial source HRANA, on the morning of Wednesday July 27, a prisoner was hanged at Mashhad Central Prison (northeastern Iran) on unknown charges. 

The report identifies the prisoner as Reza Sabzevari, 32 years old, former police officer who worked in the department to fight against drugs.

Unofficial source Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran reports on another execution on Wednesday July 27: a prisoner was hanged at Yazd Central Prison (central Iran) on drug related charges. 

The report identifies the prisoner as Nasrollah Reigi, imprisoned for five years before he was executed.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and state run media, have been silent about these two executions.

Iranian authorities have reportedly executed at least eight prisoners on Wednesday July 27th. On that day Iran Human Rights had reported on the execution of six prisoners at Darya, Urmia's central prison (northwestern Iran) on drug related charges. 

At least 50 people have been executed in Iran so far in July 2016. 

According to a recent report published by Iran Human Rights, at least 250 people have been executed in Iran so far in 2016.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 29, 2016

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