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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 …

Saudi beheads two for raping minors

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Saudi authorities beheaded Wednesday two nationals convicted of raping minors in two separate cases, in one of which the culprit killed the victim, the interior ministry said.

HB was found guilty of kidnapping and raping a seven-year-old boy before throwing him into a well and killing him, the ministry said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.

HB was executed in Qassim province, north of Riyadh.

In the other case, IB was condemned of kidnapping and raping a minor, and attempting to kidnap another. He was executed in the northern Hail province.

The beheadings bring to 15 the number of death sentences carried out this year in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Saudi Arabia beheaded 78 people in 2013, according to an AFP count.

Last year, the UN High Commission for Human Rights denounced a "sharp increase in the use of capital punishment" there since 2011.

According to figures from rights group Amnesty International, the number of executions rose from 27 in 2010, including five, to 82 in 2011, including 28 foreigners.

In 2012, the number of executions dipped to 79, among them 27 foreigners.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery, homosexuality and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, June 27, 2014

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