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Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

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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 …

Saudi Arabia beheads 2 of its citizens

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia beheaded 2 of its citizens for murder Tuesday, adding to what a rights group calls a "campaign of death" in which more than 100 people have been executed.

Mohammed al-Otaibi was convicted of shooting dead another Saudi, the interior ministry said in a statement on the official Saudi Press Agency.

Authorities carried out the sentence in Riyadh.

Separately, Turki al-Zahrani was put to death in the Muslim holy city of Mecca for stabbing dead a fellow Saudi, the ministry said.

The 2 cases brought to 102 the number of Saudi nationals and foreigners executed in the kingdom this year.

That compares with 87 for all of 2014, according to AFP tallies, but is still far below the record 192 which rights group Amnesty International said took place in 1995.

"Saudi authorities have been on a campaign of death this year, executing more people in 6 months than all of the previous year," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Echoing the concerns of other activists, the New York-based group said it has documented "due process violations" in Saudi Arabia's judiciary that make it difficult for defendants to get fair trials even in capital cases.

Under the conservative kingdom's strict Islamic sharia legal code, drug trafficking, rape, murder, armed robbery, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

The interior ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for carrying out the punishment.

Source: al-monitor.com, June 16, 2015

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