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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…

Ghana has no hangman to execute death row convicts

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Director of Administration at the Prison Service, Stephen Coffie, has revealed that Ghana currently has no hangman to execute death sentences. 

According to him, the last professionally trained hangman Ghana had has long left the system and is yet to be replaced.

The last time the death sentence was used on convicts was in 1993, during former president Jerry John Rawlings' era.

Twelve people in total were executed for crimes ranging from armed robbery and murder.

However, it has now emerged that there is no more qualified hangman in Ghana to execute death sentences even if the need be. "The death sentence yes, we know is still in our constitution. The hangman's system is still blazing in Nsawam but nobody can operate it today.

The last person, the professional who used to handle that facility has long left the system and nobody has oiled or serviced that equipment," the Director of Administration at the Prison Service, Stephen Coffie, is quoted as saying by Myjoyonline.com.


The death sentence in Ghana's laws was one of the major issues under discussion after Amnesty International released its report on the death penalty situation across the world, and the group is calling for a constitutional review of the country's laws.

But the latest comment from the Director of Administration at the Prison Service will come as a huge relief to the human rights group, as they still battle to repeal the death sentence from Ghana's laws.

Source: GhanaWeb, July 15, 2017

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