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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…

Iran reportedly executes Kurdish political prisoner

According to unofficial reports Habibollah Golparipour was hanged early this morning.

Iran Human Rights (IHR) had yesterday received reports about the transfer of Mr. Golparipour from the Urmia Prison to an unknown location.

On March 15, 2009, Habibollah Golparipour was sentenced to death by branch 1 of the Mahabad Revolutionary Court (in the Western Azerbaijan province) in a trial that lasted a few minutes.

He was sentenced to death charged with "Enmity against the God" and membership in a Kurdish dissident group".

IHR has issued concern about imminent risk of execution for at least four Sunni Muslim Kurdish prisoners of consience who are currently being held in the Ghezel Hesar Prison (near Tehran).

There is also strong concern that two other death row Kurdish political prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi might be in danger of execution.

All these prisoners have been sentenced by the Revolutionary Courts to death charged with enmity against the God.

All these prisoners have been subjected to torture, forced confessions and sentenced to death by sham trials.

IHR urges the international community to condemn today’s executions and react towards the wave of executions in Iran. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said: "The silence of the international community sends the wrong signal to the Iranian regime and we are concerned that more prisoners will be executed in the near future. The international community must react now".

Source: Iran Human Rights, October 26, 2013

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