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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…

Ethiopian maid who stabbed sleeping child beheaded in Saudi Arabia

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Riyadh: An Ethiopian woman who stabbed a small Saudi girl 30 times in her sleep was beheaded by the sword on Tuesday in the conservative Muslim kingdom, the interior ministry said.

Khadija bint Mohammed Isa was executed in Hafar al-Batin, northeast Saudi Arabia, it said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

She had "killed three-year-old child Aljazi bint Mohammed bin Fahd al Harbi... By stabbing her 30 times while she slept in her parents' room," the ministry said.

The suspect fled but was later captured and convicted, it said.

Local media said Isa was a maid, although SPA did not clarify her employment status or say what led to the killing.

Working conditions of more than 2.4 million foreign maids in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have been widely criticised.

Saudi Arabia last year passed new rules that grant maids one day of rest a week and guarantee the payment of their salaries.

Isa was the latest of 78 foreigners and Saudis most of them men executed in the kingdom this year despite international concerns over the number and judicial process.

The kingdom "is keen to protect security and justice", the interior ministry said.

Authorities also executed a convicted Saudi drug dealer on Tuesday, it said.

Nasser bin Amiq Ali al-Inzi was found guilty of trying to smuggle "a large amount" of amphetamines into the country.

He was beheaded in the northern Jawf region.

The interior ministry said last week that authorities had seized more than 41 million amphetamine tablets during the Islamic calendar year that ended in October.

Rape, apostasy, homosexuality and armed robbery are also punishable by death under the kingdom's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, December 10, 2014

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