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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 Arabia beheads Pakistani for heroin smuggling

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday [Christmas day] beheaded a Pakistani man for heroin smuggling, the twelfth person from Pakistan to be executed in the kingdom for drug trafficking since mid-October.

They are among 85 foreigners and Saudis put to death this year in the oil-rich kingdom, according to an AFP tally.

Saudi Arabia has one of the world's highest execution tolls.

The sentence against Ismail Khan Sayed was carried out in Eastern Province after his conviction for smuggling "a large amount" of heroin, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

In addition to amphetamines and other drugs, Saudi authorities seized almost 18 kilos (40 pounds) of raw heroin during the Islamic calendar year that ended in October, according to the Interior Ministry.

The Gulf has become an increasingly important market for illicit drugs in recent years, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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

Source: Agence France-Presse, Deecember 25, 2014

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