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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: Prosecution Watchdog to File Complaint Against AG Over Executions

Indonesia's Attorney General H. M. Prasetyo
Indonesia's Attorney General H. M. Prasetyo
Jakarta. The Commission for Public Prosecutions, or Komjak, will file a complaint against Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo for what it claims was the unlawful execution of two death-row prisoners, whose clemency applications were still being processed.

Prasetyo has been deemed careless for ordering the execution of Nigerian citizens Seck Osmane and Humphrey Ejike on the notorious Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java, on July 29.

"I am unable to confirm this yet, because there has been nothing related to the executions to be taken to the plenary meeting, as far as I know," Komjak commissioner Ferdinand Andi Lolo said in Jakarta on Saturday (06/08).

Ferdinand said the report the commission received will be discussed in a plenary meeting, in accordance with procedures. Deputy Komjak chairwoman Erna Ratnaningsih has confirmed receipt of the report against the attorney general, but was unable to confirm any follow-up actions.

"I have previously received complaints from Gurdip Singh and [the Indonesian Avocation Agency] Ganas," Ratna said.

According to the complaints, both convicts were illegally executed as they were still involved in a clemency process. The executions should only have been carried out after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo rejected their clemency requests with an official presidential decree.

"Illegal executions can be categorized as a planned or unplanned acts of murder, as well as alleged violations of basic human rights," Indonesian Anticorruption Society (MAKI) coordinator Boyamin Saiman said on Friday.

According to Boyamin, the attorney general can be sanctioned with a either warning or dishonorable discharge for carelessly carrying out the executions [emphasis DPN], as the convicts informed his office that they had applied for clemency.

The execution of four death-row inmates and the testimony of one of them, Freddy Budiman, about the alleged involvement of members of the National Police, National Narcotics Agency (BNN) and Indonesian Military (TNI) in drug smuggling, has triggered a major polemic in recent days.

Source: Jakarta Globe, Erwin C Sihombing, Eko Prasetyo, August 6, 2016

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