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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…

Two Prisoners Executed in Northern Iran on Unknown Charges

Public execution in Iran
Two unidentified prisoners were hanged in northern Iran on unknown charges.

Iran Human Rights (AUG 6 2016): Two unidentified prisoners were reportedly hanged on unknown charges at Choubindar, Qazvin's central prison (northern Iran). 

According to unofficial source, HRANA, the executions were carried out on the morning of Wednesday August 3. 

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and state media, have been silent about these two executions. Many of the executions carried out in Iran are not announced by official Iranian sources. 

Human rights groups, including Iran Human Rights, are worried that the number of executions in Iran is much higher than known.

Iran Human Rights had previously reported on other executions carried out on August 3rd in Iran.

 A prisoner was hanged at Taybad Prison (Razavi Khorasan province, northeastern Iran) on drug related charges and three prisoners were hanged at Saqqez Central Prison (Kurdistan province, northwestern Iran) on drug related charges.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 6, 2016

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