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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…

Indonesia: Drug agency arrests 2 dealers carrying 18 kg of meth

Drug agency arrests 2 dealers carrying 18 kg of meth
The National Drug Agency has arrested 2 drug dealers, who are members of a cross-provincial syndicate with 18 kilograms (kg) of methamphetamine (meth) in their possession in Medan, capital of North Sumatra province.

The Deputy of the Eradication division at the agency, Arman Depari said in Medan, on Thursday, that the arrest of both dealers with the initials BB and RP was a result of cooperation between the North Sumatra Drug Agency, the North Sumatra Police, Customs, and the Medan Police.

Both dealers were arrested during a transaction, which then led to a search of one of the suspects residence in the Medan Helvetia sub-district.

The arrest is also a result of a deeper investigation into an earlier arrest of a meth dealer in Jakarta in March, from whom 35 kg of meth was seized.

The initial bust also led to the capture of 11 suspected dealers in Medan with 5 kg of meth taken into custody at the end of March.

The National Drug Agency predicted that the contraband was transported from Malaysia into Indonesia through the Aceh province.

The syndicate's network is considerably vast as they take their illegal goods through to North Sumatra to be sold in Medan and its surrounding areas.

Some of the drugs are also taken to Jakarta to be sold in the Jabodetabek area, as well as a number of major cities in the Java and Bali islands.

From their working pattern, the syndicate is estimated to have been operating for quite some time.

"Although when we arrested him, the suspect admitted that he had only sold drugs once," he added.

According to the agencys investigation, the suspect sold 6 kg of drugs to his network in Medan.

"He had already sold 6 kg of the contraband, we are trying to track it down," said the former Riau Islands Police Chief.

Based on the arrest chronology and the discovery of evidence, Arman thinks the suspect does not have any meth stored in his house, rather, it is placed in the residence of a family member, which is located a mere 4 houses away from his own.

However, 2 family members, whose house was used to store the drugs, escaped when they found out about the search at their relatives house.

The Agency then urged both family members to surrender as they have been identified by the authorities.

It would also help to solve the case sooner.

"We urge them to hand themselves in, especially given the fact that they left a 10 year-old child behind," he reiterated.

For the possession of 16 kg worth of methamphetamine, the suspect will be charged with Clause 112, 114 and 24 and the State Regulation number 35 of 2009 related to Narcotics and is looking at a death penalty.

Source: Antara news, September 16, 2016

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