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Republicans postpone bill limiting death row appeals

[JURIST] Republican lawmakers in the Senate on Thursday agreed to delay the Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005 [text], a bill limiting the rights of death row inmates to extend appeals in federal courts, because of strong Democratic opposition. The bill would limit the ability of prisoners on death row to have their cases reviewed by federal courts in habeas corpus appeals [Wikipedia backgrounder] and restrict the length of time a case can be reviewed. Republicans and Democrats battled over the merits of the bill , with Republicans citing some of the "utterly bogus" appeals filed only to delay justice while Democrats pointed to the possibility of mistakes being overlooked, resulting in the execution of innocent people. The bill's main proponent, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) [official website], agreed to delay a vote until September 2005, allowing for more expert testimony on the subject. The House of Representatives is currently considering a similar bill. Reuters has more.

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