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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: Inmate's Hand Amputated Before Execution in Shiraz

Medieval and barbaric punishments: an inmate is flogged in public prior to his execution in Karaj, Iran,  August 2014.
Medieval and barbaric punishments: a death-row inmate is flogged
in public prior to his execution in Karaj, Iran, in August 2014.
Two juvenile offenders facing execution

Three inmates were executed on Tuesday, April 18 in the prisons of Shiraz and Tabriz. 

Ten days prior to the executions, authorities in Adel Abad Prison of Shiraz had horrifically amputated the hand of one of the inmates. 

One of the two prisoners executed in Tabriz Central Prison was 28 years of age.

Furthermore, two prisoners who were arrested while under the age of 18 are now facing execution. 

Mehdi Bahlouli, 17 years of age when arrested, is currently held in solitary confinement of Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, west of Tehran. 

Peyman Barandah, arrested at the age of 16 for his alleged crime, is on death row in Shiraz Central Prison.

The Iranian Resistance calls on Iranians from all walks of life, especially the youth, to protest such vicious punishments and arbitrary executions, specifically the hanging of juveniles. 

It further calls on the international community to strongly condemn this unprecedented barbarity in the 21st century and hinge their relations with the Iranian regime on an immediate halt to executions and inhumane punishments.


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