HOUSTON (AP) — Texas is again attempting to expedite the execution process by seeking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ approval to opt in to a federal law shortening legal deadlines and limiting appeals options for death-sentenced inmates.
State’s Attorney General spokeswoman Kayleigh Lovvorn tells the Houston Chronicle that the renewed request to the Justice Department will avoid “stressful delays” and cut “excessive costs” of lengthy federal court proceedings.
Defense attorneys say the opt-in would lead to executing innocent people and could end ongoing appeals for many death row prisoners if applied retroactively. The request has sparked a federal lawsuit and hundreds of comments from the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Bar Association, Mexico’s government and defense lawyers.
Texas would be the first state to receive opt-in approval in more than two decades if Sessions greenlights the application.