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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…

Court Halts Execution Of Texas Death Row Inmate Larry Hatten

HUNTSVILLE (October 13, 2014) The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Monday halted the scheduled execution this week of death row inmate Larry Hatten, 40.

Hatten, who had ordered that no appeals be filed to stop the execution Wednesday evening, was convicted of capital murder in the shooting death of a 5-year-old boy who was sleeping with his mother 20 years ago in an apartment in Corpus Christi.

The court gave him a reprieve to resolve a 1997 filing with his trial court in Nueces County.

The judges said Monday in a three-page ruling that the filing never was decided by the trial court and was never properly forwarded to the appeals court.

The appeals court has given the trial court six months to resolve the claims in the in filing.

Hatten was accused of breaking into the apartment where the boy, Isaac Jackson, and his mother, Tabatha Thompson, lived on Sept. 19, 1995 and firing six shots with a .357-caliber handgun.

Thompson was struck four times, but survived.

Her son, who was struck once in the upper body, did not.

Source: KWTX, October 13, 2014

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