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Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

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Convicted murderer Rodney Reed is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Nov. 20, but Gov. Greg Abbott has the power to stop it.
As it stands, there’s no indication that Abbott will. He has only stopped one execution since becoming governor 5 years ago.
Reed was sentenced to death in 1998, after being convicted of the brutal 1996 rape and killing of a 19-year-old woman from central Texas, Stacey Stites. And though the governor has yet to weigh in on this specific case, he supports capital punishment, as do most voters in the state. According to a June 2018 poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune, fully three-fourths of Texans strongly or somewhat support the death penalty.
But the question at hand has nothing to do with the death penalty, per se. Granting a reprieve would simply be the right thing to do — and a necessary precaution against the doubts that would linger, if Reed is executed as scheduled.
Reed has consistently maintained his innocence, and legitimate questions …

Norwegian on death row in DR Congo dies in jail

Tjostolv Moland and Joshua French
A Norwegian sentenced to death in 2010 for murder and spying in the Democratic Republic of Congo has died in prison, Norway's foreign minister announced on Sunday.

"We have been informed today that Tjostolv Moland is dead. He was found in his prison cell in Kinshasa this morning," Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide told reporters.

When asked about the cause of death, he replied only that Norway had "no comment at this time."

Moland and his friend Joshua French, who has dual British-Norwegian nationality, were sentenced to death for murder and spying in the vast central African country in 2010.

Shortly after their conviction Moland, 32, and French, 31, wrote to Congolese President Joseph Kabila to ask for a pardon or for their death sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment that could eventually be served in Norway.

Norwegian authorities have since been trying to negotiate a transfer to the Scandinavian country.

Former soldiers French and Moland, who claimed they were in the country to set up their own security company, were first sentenced to death in 2009, convicted of having killed the driver of the car they had rented in May that year.

They insisted the driver was killed by bandits.

The verdict was annulled for irregularities by the high military court in 2010, but a new panel of judges convicted them in a retrial in June that year of spying, criminal association, murder and attempted murder.

A prison official claimed in August 2011 that the pair -- who met in the Norwegian army -- had tried to escape from prison, but their lawyer denied this.

DR Congo has not carried out a death sentence since Kabila came to power in 2001, but has commuted such penalties to life imprisonment.

Barth Eide said a Norwegian diplomat has been sent to the Kinshasa prison following the news of Moland's death.

Source: Agence France-Presse, August 19, 2013

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Sep 14, 2009
Sep 14, 2009
Tjostolv Moland, 28, and Joshua French, 27 -- both former soldiers -- were convicted on September 8 by a military court in the Congo city of Kisangani for killing their driver on May 5. The two, who were in Kisangani either as ...

Norwegian and UK man fail in death appeal in DR Congo
Dec 03, 2009
A military tribunal in Kisangani rejected the plea and ordered them to pay $500m in damages before facing the death sentence. Joshua French, who holds joint British-Norwegian nationality, and Tjostolv Moland were also ...
May 26, 2010
The court in the original case said Moland and French were in possession of valid military service ID cards when they were arrested and as serving soldiers were thus the responsibility of the state. Oslo has rejected ...
Sep 08, 2009
A military court in Kisangani found Tjostolv Moland, 28, and Joshua French, 27, guilty on all charges, Norwegian TV2 reported. The court also ordered the pair to pay $60 million in damages. The men have five days to appeal ...
Apr 22, 2010
Both Joshua French, who also holds British citizenship, and Tjostolv Moland had previously served in Norway's military but Oslo has denied they were in active service when the incident occurred last May near the town of ...
Mar 31, 2010
Joshua and his friend Tjostolv Moland received multiple death sentences on 8 September 2009 for murder and espionage. Joshua, who has a Norwegian mother and British father, had been forced to sign a confession after ...
Apr 11, 2012
Despite significant doubts over their innocence and the fairness of their trial, co-defendants Joshua French and Tjostolv Moland, a Norwegian national known to his friends as Mike, lost their final appeal against charges of ...
Jun 25, 2010
Joshua French, 28, who also has British nationality, and Tjostolv Moland, 29, were sentenced to death June 10 by a military court in the northeastern DRC town of Kisangani. They were found guilty of the May 2009 murder of a ...
Jun 10, 2010
Joshua French, 28, who is also a British citizen, and Tjostolv Moland, 29, were convicted of murder, attempted murder, criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, and espionage, according to British legal charity Reprieve. Both men ...

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