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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…

Iranian authorities executed 1 person every 9 hours in January 2017

Iran: Barbaric and medieval punishments
Iran: Barbaric and medieval punishments
The Iranian authorities hanged 87 people in the month of January 2017, that's one execution every nine hours.

Iran Human Rights (FEB 3 2017): According to reports compiled by Iran Human Rights, the Iranian authorities hanged 87 people in the month of January 2017, including two juvenile prisoners and six prisoners who were executed in public. 

Out of the 87 executions, only 19 of them were announced by official Iranian sources. 

Most of the executions which were carried out in Iran in January 2017 were for drug related charges.

According to research conducted by Iran Human Rights, executions tend to significantly increase in the months leading to an election in Iran but significantly decrease or stop a couple weeks before the election. 

Iran Human Rights is deeply concerned that a new wave of executions have started in Iran and worries that the number of executions will increase following the "Fajr Decade" celebrations.

Iran Human Rights urges the international community, especially European countries, to pay attention to the execution crisis in Iran, and calls on all countries which have diplomatic relations with the Iranian authorities to call on the Iranian authorities to stop executions.

"In the month of January, we witnessed an average of one execution every nine hours, including two juvenile offenders and six public executions. Lack of reactions from the international community to these executions encourages the Iranian authorities to execute even more people in the months leading to the 2017 presidential election," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

Source: Iran Human Rights, February 3, 2017

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