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Texas: Rodney Reed granted indefinite stay of execution

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Stay of execution came just hours after parole board unanimously recommended 120-day reprieve
The Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed was granted a stay of execution on Friday, 5 days before he was scheduled to be put to death for a murder he insists he did not commit.
The Texas court of criminal appeals blocked the execution indefinitely and sent the case back to the trial court in Bastrop county, where Reed was sentenced in 1998 for the murder of Stacey Stites two years earlier.
The court had previously rejected multiple appeals, but Reed’s lawyers argued that fresh evidence bolstered his claim of innocence. 
They said in a statement that they “are extremely relieved and thankful … this opportunity will allow for proper consideration of the powerful and mounting new evidence of Mr Reed’s innocence”.
Millions of people, including a clutch of celebrities, have rallied behind Reed’s cause, helping to generate momentum and public attention as the execution date of 20 November loomed an…

Japan: record number of death sentences in 2007

January 13, 2008: The number of people sentenced to death in Japanese courts in 2007 rose to 46, the highest in nearly three decades, local media reported.

There were at least 106 death-row inmates in 2007, a record high since 1980 when such data first became available, Kyodo News agency reported. The number of death sentences ordered by Japanese courts last year rose to 46 from 44 in 2006.

Nine executions were carried out in 2007, the most in a year since 1980, Kyodo said.

Source: Kyodo News, 13/01/2008)

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