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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: Four hanged in Saqqez

Hanging in Iran
NCRI - Iran's fundamentalist regime hanged four prisoners on Wednesday, a day after more than two dozen Sunni political prisoners were mass executed by the regime prompting international condemnation.

Three of the victims were hanged on Wednesday, August 3, in a prison in the city of Saqqez, in the western Iranian province of Kurdistan.

They were identified as Mostafa Salimzadeh, 23; Loqman Rashidi, 27; and Kaveh Sohrabi, 31.

A fourth prisoner was hanged on Wednesday in a jail in the city of Taybad, in north-east Iran. He was identified as Majid Nazari.

A further report surfaced on Thursday that three more prisoners were hanged on July 27 in prisons in the north-western Iranian province of Western Azerbaijan. 

They were identified as three Iranian Kurds - Ahmad Rastegar, Shahpour Hashtian and Davoud Mohammadi.

Source: NCRI, August 4, 2016

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