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

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 …

Parents of wrongfully executed teen in China to get $330,000

Huugjilt was wrongly convicted in 1996 of
raping and killing a woman. He was
executed in the same year. He was 18.
Beijing: The parents of a Chinese teenager executed 18 years ago for the rape and murder of a woman he did not commit will get 2.05 million yuan (Dh1.2 million or $330,491) in compensation, a court and his father said on Wednesday.

This month, a court exonerated Huugjilt, saying he was wrongly convicted in 1996 of raping and killing a woman in a public rest room. He was executed in the same year. He was 18.

Huugjilt is the latest wrongfully convicted death-row inmate exonerated in the past year. In August, Nian Bin, a former death row prisoner, was freed after a court said there was insufficient evidence against him.

These cases, which have sparked an outcry, have added to public discontent over wrongful punishment. They come as the government has embarked on legal reforms, including banning the use of torture to extract confessions.

Huugjilt’s father, Li Sanren, said the compensation was “all right”, adding that he and his wife “respect the decision of the law and the state”.

“Our main consideration was his vindication,” Li told Reuters by telephone. “As for how much we should be compensated, that’s a decision by the state.” Li said he would use the money to find a good cemetery plot for his son.

The Inner Mongolia High Court said it was compensating Huugjilt’s parents for the “extremely serious mental damage” that has been inflicted on them.

Many internet users said they did not think the compensation was adequate and called for the officials responsible to be punished. The decision to compensate Huugjilt’s family was the most talked-about topic on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Huugjilt’s parents had been petitioning judicial authorities since 2006 to re-try the case. Another man had confessed to the murder in Inner Mongolia in 2005, but a retrial was not conducted until this year.

The recent exonerations have raised concern about irreversible miscarriages of justice.

Anti-death penalty campaigners say China, which does not announce the number of people executed, uses the death penalty in far more than other countries.

While wrongful executions have stirred public outrage, capital punishment has wide public support.

Source: Reuters, December 31, 2014

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