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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…

Seven Death Row Juvenile Offenders in Iran Identified

Watching a public execution in Iran
Iran Human Rights has identified seven death row prisoners in the western regions of Iran who were under the age of 18 when they were charged with murder.

Iran Human Rights (AUG 16 2016): Iran has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child and must stop the execution of children. 

Despite Iran's obligation to end the death penalty for prisoners who were convicted for offences committed before the age of 18, Iranian authorities continue to sentence juvenile offenders to death and execute them. 

According to reports by Iran Human Rights, at least two juveniles offenders have been executed so far in 2016 in Iran.

Rauf Hasani

Rauf Hasani
  • Born on January 27, 1997.
  • Arrested on August 8, 2013 at the age of 16 in the city of Saqqez (Kurdistan province, northwestern Iran) on murder charges.
  • Sentenced to death in spring 2015 by the civil court in Saqqez.
  • Completed school up to the fifth grade.
  • Detained in the juvenile offenders ward of Saqqez Central Prison.
Azad Mohammadzadeh

Azad Mohammadzadeh
  • Born on July 13, 1997.
  • Arrested in winter 2013 at the age of 15 on murder charges.
  • Sentenced to death in autumn 2015 by the civil court in Saqqez.
  • Completed school up to the sixth grade.
  • Currently held in Saqqez Central Prison.
Saleh Teymouri

Saleh Teymouri
  • Born on May 8, 1996.
  • Arrested in summer 2011 in the city of Bukan (West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran) at the age of 15 for "murder by throwing stones leading to brain damage and death of the victim".
  • Sentenced to death on July 12, 2014 by the civil court in Bukan.
  • Completed school up to the sixth grade.
  • Detained in Bukan Prison.
Nasser Khezri

Nasser Khezri
  • Born in September 1998. He is currently 17 years old.
  • Arrested in November 2014 at the age of 15 on murder charges.
  • Sentenced to death on July 20, 2016 by the civil court in Saqqez. The sentence was issued to him in prison on July 27th. His case file is currently in the possession of Iran's Supreme Court for confirmation.
  • Detained in Saqqez Central Prison.
Yadollah Rahimzadeh



Yadollah Rahimzadeh
  • Born on November 10, 1997.
  • Arrested in May 2014 in Saqqez at the age of 16 for murder charges. Before his arrest he was a child laborer.
  • Completed school up to the sixth grade.
  • Sentenced to death on July 16, 2016 by the civil court in the city of Sanandaj (Kurdistan province).
  • Detained in the juvenile offenders ward of Sanandaj Central Prison.



Assad Rasoulnejad
  • Born on October 7, 1996 in Mahabad County.
  • Arrested on April 5, 2012 in the city of Bukan at the age of 15.
  • Sentenced to death in 2015 by the civil court in Bukan.
  • Completed school up to the seventh grade.
  • Detained in Bukan Prison.

Khaled Rasouli
  • Born on September 20, 1995 in Mahabad County (West Azerbaijan province).
  • Arrested in September 2011 in Miandoab County (West Azerbaijan province) at the age of 15 on murder charges.
  • Sentenced to death in January 2015 by the civil court in Miandoab.
  • Completed school up to the seventh grade.
  • Detained in Miandoab Prison.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 16, 2016

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