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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…

Iran: 12 Prisoners Hanged on Drug Charges

Iran Human Rights (AUG 27 2016): Iran Human Rights (IHR) warned yesterday about the imminent execution of more than 10 prisoners in Karaj Central Prison. 

According to close sources, 12 prisoners were executed at this prison early morning on Saturday August 27.

Close sources have identified nine of the prisoners who were executed this morning:

Alireza Madadpour, Bahman Rezaei, Arman Bahrami, Alireza Asadi (pictured below), Mohsen Eslami, Hossein Bahrami, Mehdi Rostami, Amir Sarkhah and Alireza Sarkhah". All the prisoners were reportedly sentenced to death for drug related offences.

The death sentences were carried out despite an urgent call by Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, to halt the executions.

During the past two years several high ranking Iranian officials have admitted that executions have not deterred drug crimes in Iran. But still, Iranian authorities continue the execution of hundreds every year for such charges.

Alireza Asadi was one of the prisoners who was executed in Karaj Central Prison early Saturday morning August 27.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 27, 2016

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