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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…

Somalia executes three suspected militants by firing squad

Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu
Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad
on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu (Photo: AP)
(Reuters) - Three men were executed by firing squad on Sunday after a Somali military court found them guilty of killing civilians in a series of recent attacks in the country blamed on al Shabaab Islamist militants.

The men were hooded and tied to poles with their hands behind their backs in a field in the capital Mogadishu, where a crowd gathered to watch the execution.

"Anyone who kills a person or a militant who kills people and is arrested will also be taken to court and executed," Abdirahman Turyare, the chairman of the military court told reporters at the scene.

He said two of the men had pleaded guilty to charges of killing, while the third was accused of facilitating an attack on July 8 by driving the attackers into the presidential palace.

Al Shabaab could not be reached for comment.

Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu
Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad
on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu (Photo: AP)
The executions were part of a crackdown in which suspected al Shabaab members have been tried by military courts since 2011.

Somalia's government is struggling to impose order more than two decades after the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre tipped the country into chaos.

Frequent militant attacks show that a surge by African Union peacekeeping troops has not weakened al Shabaab's capacity to wage asymmetric warfare in the capital, where coordination between Somali and foreign intelligence agencies is poor.

Critics say international human rights standards largely prohibit trials of civilians before military courts.

Source: Reuters, August 4, 2014

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