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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…

Saudi beheaded for killing father

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Interior Ministry says 70 executions carried out this year in the kingdom

Riyadh: A Saudi national convicted of murdering his father was beheaded on Thursday, bringing to 70 the number of executions carried out this year in the kingdom, the interior ministry said.

The number compares with 87 in the whole of 2014, according to an AFP tally.

Abdullah Al Balawi was convicted of stabbing his father to death, said a ministry statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. 

He was executed in the northwestern city of Tabuk.

SPA said the son had planned the murder but it did not give his motives.

Amnesty International has criticised a "macabre spike" in the use of the death penalty this year in Saudi Arabia, which the London-based watchdog ranked among the top three executioners in the world in 2014.

Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy, homosexuality and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 30, 2015


Saudi beheaded for killing father, another for drugs

A Saudi national who murdered his father and a drug trafficker were beheaded Thursday, bringing to 71 the number of executions carried out this year in the kingdom, the government said.

The number compares with 87 in the whole of 2014, according to an AFP tally.

Abdullah al-Balawi was beheaded after being convicted of stabbing his father to death, the interior ministry said, cited by the official Saudi Press Agency.

SPA said he had planned the murder, but it did not say what his motives may have been.

The other person executed was Abdullah al-Ruwaili, a Saudi convicted of "smuggling a large amount of banned amphetamine pills," said the ministry.

Both men were executed in the northwestern city of Tabuk.

Amnesty International has criticised a "macabre spike" in the use of the death penalty this year in Saudi Arabia, which the London-based watchdog ranked among the top 3 executioners in the world in 2014.

Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy, homosexuality and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 30, 2015


Saudi Executed for Murder

Saudi Arabia beheaded a citizen on Tuesday after convicting him of murdering a compatriot, the interior ministry said.

Faris al-Qahtani was found guilty of shooting dead Hadi al-Yami and stealing his money and car, the ministry said in a statement carried by official Saudi Press Agency.

His execution in the southwestern province of Abha was the 69th in the kingdom so far this year.

That compares with 87 in the whole of 2014 in what Amnesty International has called a "macabre spike" in the kingdom's use of the death penalty.

The London-based human rights group ranked Saudi Arabia among the top 3 executioners in the world last year.

Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy, homosexuality and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the kingdom's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 28, 2015

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