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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 Arabia: 89th execution this year

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia beheaded a convicted murderer on Wednesday in its 89th execution this year, adding to a toll that has already overtaken the total for all of 2014.

Fahd bin Hussein Daghriri was found guilty and sentenced to death for his role in the murder of a fellow Saudi citizen, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Authorities carried out the execution in the southern region of Jazan.

According to an AFP tally, Daghriri brings to 89 the number of locals and foreigners executed in the kingdom this year, despite activists' concerns that trials are not conducted fairly.

The conservative Islamic kingdom executed 87 people in 2014, according to AFP's count.

Under the Gulf nation's strict version of Islamic sharia law, drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy, homosexuality and armed robbery are all punishable by death.

Executions are carried out in public, mostly by beheading with a sword.

Source: Agence France-Presse, May 27, 2015

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