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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…

Pakistan: Five executed on terrorism charges, 4 sentenced to death

Pakistan executes 5 'terrorists' at prison in northwest

Pakistan's military says authorities have hanged 5 "hardcore terrorists" after they were found guilty of carrying out attacks in the country.

A military statement says the executions were carried out on Wednesday at a prison in the northwest.

It says the convicts belonged to the Pakistani Taliban, or Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. 

The executions came 2 months after military courts were shut down in Pakistan following the expiration of their 2-year constitutional mandate.

The courts were set up after a December 2014 Taliban attack on a school in the northwest killed 150 people, mostly children.

The attack also prompted Pakistan to lift its moratorium on the death penalty. Since then, Pakistan has executed over 400 people. Most of those executed were not linked to terrorism-related cases.


4 convicts get death penalty


A local court in Sahiwal awarded capital punishment to 4 murder accused and fined Rs100,000 each here the other day.

According to the prosecution, the accused - Imran, Ameen, Ghaffar Ahmed and Aziz - said to be cousins, had shot dead 3 members of a family - Allah Ditta Kartar, Muhammad Iqbal and Ameer - for contracting love-marriage with 2 girls of their family after lifting them from their house in 2011.

In light of the evidence, Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Zubair sentenced the accused to death and fined them Rs100,000 each.

Source: Associated Press, nation.com.pk, March 9, 2017

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