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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 performs 84th beheading in 2015

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia beheaded a Pakistani national sentenced to death for drug smuggling on May 17.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said that brings to 84 the number of executions in the kingdom this year.

The ministry said in a statement that Iftikhar Ahmed Mohammed Anayat was found guilty of attempting to traffic heroin into Saudi Arabia in balloons concealed in his stomach. 

He was executed in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.

The ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for its use of the death penalty despite criticism from human rights watchdogs.

Amnesty International ranked Saudi Arabia among the world's top three executioners in 2014.

Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy, homosexuality, and armed robbery are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Islamic Shari'a law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, May 17, 2015

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