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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…

Pakistan Executes 8 Death Row Convicts

Pakistan on Thursday executed 8 death row convicts, including 3 men who hijacked an airplane in May 1998.

Shahsawar, Sabir and Shabbir Baloch hijacked a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Balochistan province's Turbat town on May 25, 1998, Dunya News reported.

The PIA Flight 544 was carrying 33 passengers, including 5 crew members. The hijackers demanded the pilot to enter India. They were arrested when the flight finally landed at Hyderabad Airport.

The 3 men were sentenced to death on August 20, 1998. Shahsawar and Sabir were hanged in Hyderabad Central Jail, while Shabbir was executed in Karachi Central Jail.

Death row convict, Mahmood was also hanged in Karachi Central Jail. He was sentenced for killing a minor boy in 2003.

3 convicts were hanged in jails across Punjab province.

Akseer was found guilty of killing a man over a business dispute in 1998. Muhammad Ashraf was sentenced for a double murder in 2000. Amir Abdullah was found guilty of killing a man in 2002.

Khurram was executed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Haripur Central Jail. He was sentenced to death in 1999 for killing his friend.

Pakistan lifted its moratorium on the death penalty in all capital cases on March 10.

Initially, executions were resumed for terrorism offences only in the wake of a Taliban massacre at an army-run school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, which had killed more than 140 people, mostly students.

Source: focusnews.com, May 28, 2015

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