Texas Wants Death Penalty 'Express'

Texas is looking for a way to speed up death penalty appeals so executions can be carried out more quickly.  

The Attorney General's office filed a request with the Justice Department to "opt in" to a federal law that limits appeals, and shortens the legal process of lethal injection.   

Congress passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act in 1996, in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing that left 168 people dead.  The law sets time limits on federal appeals and gives greater deference to the rulings of state courts.  It also limits the ability of judges to grant stays of execution.

Critics are concerned more innocent people would be sent to the death chamber under the plan.

Texas already leads the nation in executions and has carried out four so far this year.

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