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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…

Waiting to die: the Iranian child inmates facing execution – in pictures

In Iran, girls are held criminally accountable by law from the age of nine, and can be sentenced to death by hanging for crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and armed robbery.

Sadegh Souri, documentary winner at the 2015 Lens Culture visual storytelling awards, has photographed girls in the harsh conditions of juvenile detention – many of whom are marking time until they turn 18, when their executions will be carried out...


Mahsa is 17. She fell in love with a boy and intended to marry him, but her father was against the marriage. One day she had an argument with her father, got angry, and killed him with a kitchen knife. Mahsa’s brothers are requesting the death penalty for her.

Photograph: Words and pictures from Waiting for Capital Punishment, by Sadegh Souri








Shaqayeq, 15, has been in prison for almost a year on the charge of armed robbery from a chain store in Tehran. She and her boyfriend entered the store, and when the police arrived, her boyfriend escaped but Shaqayeq was arrested. Her death sentence has been issued and she must reach 18 so the verdict can be carried out. Her grandmother came to visit her after a year.






Click here to read the full article/view all photos

Source: The Guardian, January 8, 2016

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