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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…

Indonesia: President Widodo Orders Investigation Into Drug Lord's Testimony

Freddy Budiman, shortly before his execution on Nusakambangan Island.
Freddy Budiman, shortly before his execution on Nusakambangan Island.
Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo ordered the National Police to investigate claims by a recently executed drug lord that law enforcers have long been involved in drug-trafficking rings in the country.

Rights activist Haris Azhar had published the testimony by Freddy Budiman just hours before his execution at Nusakambangan.

"Investigate it, find out if what is claimed in the testimony is true," Jokowi said in Bali on Thursday (11/08).

However, the president expressed his regret that the information had not come out earlier. "The testimony was given in 2012. Why was it not published then?" Jokowi asked.

Jokowi had instructed National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian to assemble a team of investigators to verify Freddy's claims.

According to the president, the teams welcomes assistance from outside the police force. "Anyone who can crack this case should join the team,” Jokowi said.

Source: Jakarta Globe, August 12, 2016

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