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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: Two prisoners executed on drug charges and four prisoners executed in public

Public execution in Mashhad, Iran, January 28, 2017
Public execution in Mashhad, Iran, January 28, 2017
Two prisoners were reportedly hanged at Rasht's central prison and a total of four prisoners were hanged in public in two different Iranian cities on armed robbery and rape charges.

Iran Human Rights (FEB 1 2017): On the morning of Saturday January 28, two prisoners were reportedly hanged at Lakan, Rasht's central Prison. 

On the morning of Sunday January 29, a total of four prisoners were hanged in public in Mashhad and Bandar Abbas.

According to a report by the Iranian state-run news agency IRIB, the two prisoners at Rasht's central prison were hanged on drug related charges. 

The report identifies the prisoners as "R.Z.", 26 years old, and "M.A.", 39 years old. R.Z. was reportedly sentenced to death on the charge of trafficking one kilogram of crystal meth and M.A. was reportedly sentenced to death on the charge of buying and selling three kilograms of heroin.

IRIB reports on two unidentified prisoners who were executed in public in Bandar Abbas. 

The prisoners were reportedly 26 and 22 years old and their charges include two counts of rape, abduction, and assault & battery.

The Iranian state-run news agency, Mizan, which is tied to Iran's Judiciary, reported on the execution of two prisoners which were both carried out in public in Mashhad. The prisoners were reportedly sentenced to death on the charge of Moharebeh (enmity against God) through armed robbery and creating a state of fear & terror. According to Mizan, in 2014, the two prisoners were involved in an armed robbery in which they fired shots while fleeing the scene of the crime and caused injuries.

Photos of the public hanging in Mashhad (via Iran Human Rights)

Public execution in Mashhad, Iran, January 28, 2017

Public execution in Mashhad, Iran, January 28, 2017

Public execution in Mashhad, Iran, January 28, 2017



Source: Iran Human Rights, February 1, 2017

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