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Innocent on Death Row? New Evidence Casts Doubt on Convictions

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Rodney Reed’s death sentence was suspended. But researchers say other current cases raise similar doubt about the guilt of the accused.
The number of executions in the United States remains close to nearly a three-decade low. And yet the decline has not prevented what those who closely track the death penalty see as a disturbing trend: a significant number of cases in which prisoners are being put to death, or whose execution dates are near, despite questions about their guilt.
Rodney Reed, who came within days of execution in Texas before an appeals court suspended his death sentence on Friday, has been the most high-profile recent example, receiving support from Texas lawmakers of both parties and celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian West, who urged a new examination of the evidence.
Mr. Reed has long maintained that he did not commit the 1996 murder for which he was convicted. And in recent months, new witnesses came forward pointing toward another possible suspect: the dead…

Saudi beheaded after killing 3 in car chase

The execution takes to 31 the number put to death since the beginning of the year

Riyadh: Saudi authorities beheaded a citizen in the northern town of Hael on Tuesday after he was convicted of intentionally causing the deaths of three people during a car chase, the interior ministry announced.

Talal Bin Fayez Al Shammari “intentionally hit the car” carrying three men — Abdul Karim Al Shammari, Mufawaz Bin Falhi Al Shammari and Walid Bin Radi Al Shammari — during a high-speed car chase “due to a dispute between them”, the ministry said.

The three men being pursued were killed in the crash, said the statement carried by the official SPA news agency.

Tuesday’s execution takes to 31 the number of people put to death in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the year, according to an AFP count.

In 2012, the kingdom executed 76 people, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. The US-based Human Rights Watch put the number at 69.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 9, 2013

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