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 …

Pakistan: 2 more convicts hanged in Lahore and Karachi

2 more condemned prisoners including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi activist Mohammad Saeed alias Maulvi and Zahid alias Zahidu were hanged at Karachi central prison and Kot Lakhpat jail, Lahore, respectively, on Wednesday morning.

An anti-terrorism court in Karachi had found Saeed guilty for shooting Police Deputy Superintendent (retired) Syed Sabir Hussain Shah and his young son Syed Abid Hussain Shah. He was awarded death sentence in April 2001. Saeed had killed both his victims in an ambush near the Malir City railway crossing. Both Sabir Hussain and his son were reportedly killed on sectarian grounds, whereas Saeed is said to be associated with the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi outfit.

An anti-terrorism court had issued black warrants for his execution on January 3, 2015. Zahid Hussain alias Zahidu was awarded death sentence by an anti-terrorism court in 2004 for killing a policeman in Multan in 2002. Earlier on January 7, Lahore High Court chief justice had dismissed a petition which sought directions to restrain an anti-terrorism court from issuing death warrants for Zahid Husain. Hussain through his counsel had pleaded that as he had reached a compromise with legal heirs of the victim, Ghulam Husain, so the trial court should be restrained from issuing his death warrants.

A provincial law officer told the court that the trial court had handed down capital punishment to Zahid Husain under provisions of Anti Terrorism Act (ATA) and added that the offences falling under the ATA were not compoundable. The chief justice had then dismissed the petition for being non-maintainable. Mercy appeals of both convicts had been turned down by the President Mamnoon Hussain. Strict security measures were taken outside the jails in Lahore and Karachi. Besides heavy contingent of police, army and rangers personnel were deployed in and outside the premises of jails.

So far, 19 death row prisoners have been executed, since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif lifted the moratorium on death penalty on December 17, 2014, a day after the Army Public School, Peshawar carnage took place. A moratorium on the death penalty had been in place unofficially since 2008. In wake of the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty, Minister for Interior Affairs Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had announced that more than 500 people would be hanged.

Source: Daily Times, January 15, 2015

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