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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…

Kyrgyzstan: Draft law on death penalty for pedophiles submitted for public discussion

Kyrgystan's capital Bishkek
Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek
The draft law on introduction of death penalty for pedophiles has been submitted for public discussion. The initiator is Onuguu-Progress parliamentary faction.

It is proposed to supplement Article 21 of the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic with the words "The death penalty is prohibited, except for crimes against sexual inviolability of the minors."

Faction leader Bakyt Torobaev notes that it is necessary legislatively to toughen the penalties against pedophiles. "If the MPs support us, then such provision will be included in the Constitution," he says.

Moratorium on the death penalty was imposed in Kyrgyzstan in 1998. And in November 2007, the country adopted a new version of the Constitution, from which provisions on the death penalty have been removed.

The theme of the abolition of capital punishment for pedophiles was raised by the deputies in the spring before going on vacation, since more than 10,000 citizens then initiated the introduction of the death penalty for rapists of the minors.

Chairman of the Committee on the Protection of Children "Strong family - strong state" Zhenish Akmatov noted that the rate of sexual offenses against children is increasing from year to year. Explaining the need for the introduction of capital punishment, the activist noted that many countries use the death penalty. It is Belarus, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and more than 12 US states. Russia, Kazakhstan, South Korea have such a provision, permitting the use of the death penalty, in the Constitution but it is not put in practice.

Kubat Otorbaev, Ombudsman, stated that he, as a parent, is for the abolition of the moratorium on the death penalty, but as the country's main human rights defender he understands Kyrgyzstan can not use it. Ombudsman explained that the introduction of the death penalty will be, in fact, the rejection by the state of the intentions on raising the spiritual values without which a developed society can not exist. And deprivation of a person's life (even legally) means lifting of responsibility by the state and society for the education of man as a person. "In the end, all this could lead to further degradation and exasperation of the society, and in the best case to a standstill in the legal consciousness," Kubat Otorbaev said.

As an alternative, the Ombudsman proposes to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment, fixing legally that a pedophile can not be granted amnesty.

Source: eng.24.kg, August 17, 2016

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