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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…

Most Americans support trial or release from Gitmo: Reprieve comment

Guantánamo Camp Delta 1
Responding to today's YouGov poll, which suggested that 52% of Americans want the remaining prisoners at Guantánamo Bay to be either given a trial or released, Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, Reprieve U.S. attorney for detainees, said:

“Most Americans recognize that denying those in Guantánamo the same right to a fair trial provided those lucky enough to be in the United States flies in the face of justice.

"Guantánamo is an emblem of a dark period for our country. The Obama Administration must urgently take steps to shutter the prison, and charge or release its long-suffering inmates, while there’s still time.”

61 prisoners remain held at Guantánamo after the Administration released 15 cleared men - 12 Yemenis and 3 Afghans - to the United Arab Emirates on Monday.


Source: Reprieve, August 19, 2016. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve U.S., based in New York City, can be contacted on Katherine [dot] oshea [at] reprieve.org / +1 917 855 8064. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on: communications [at] reprieve.org.uk / +44 (0) 207 553 8140.

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