Texas: Rodney Reed granted indefinite stay of execution

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…

Yemen executes 2nd child this year

Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child Wednesday expressed 'deep dismay' concerning the execution of another child in Yemen.

"According to the information we have received, Hind Al-Barti was around 15 years old at the time of the offense," the Chairperson Jean Zermatten said.

2 children under 18 years of age were executed in 2012, and 14 juveniles had been executed between 2006 and 2010.

21 more children have been convicted and sentenced to death, 1 of which is 13 years old, according to the UN committee press release.

"According to the information transmitted to us, Waleed Hussein Haikal and Mohammad Abduh Qasim al-Taweel (both aged 15 at the time of the commission of the offense) and Mohammad Taher Samoum in Ibb (aged 13) have had their death sentences confirmed by the Supreme Court," the chairperson said.

"We urgently appeal to the Government of Yemen to immediately stop the executions of juvenile offenders and to take effective measures to remove juvenile prisoners from death row."

Yemen had assured the committee in 2005 that laws against the death penalty, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of children under the age of 18, had been incorporated into the penal code.

Source: Muslim News, December 13, 2012

Woman executed in Yemen for crime as teen

A woman who was believed to be 15 years old when she was arrested for killing another girl about seven years ago has been executed in Yemen, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child reported Wednesday.

The woman, identified as Hind Al-Barti, reportedly was shot to death by a firing squad on Dec. 3.

A U.N. treaty prohibits nations from executing people for crimes they commit when they are minors.

"It is deplorable that this execution took place despite assurances given by Yemen to the Committee in June 2005 that the death penalty, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of persons for having committed crimes when under the age of 18, had been abolished by the Penal Code," said Jean Zermatten said, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

"The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989, not only proclaims the inherent right of every child to life, but provides that neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by minors," Zermatten said.

The U.N. believes the death penalty had been imposed in Yemen on about 20 others who committed crimes when they were juveniles under age 18.

The three are Waleed Hussein Haikal and Mohammad Abduh Qasim al-Taweel, who were each 15 at the time of the offences for which they were convicted, and Mohammad Taher Samoum in Ibb, who was aged 13 when he allegedly committed a capital crime.

Source: The Examiner, December 13, 2012

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