Innocent on Death Row? New Evidence Casts Doubt on Convictions

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…

3 Prisoners Hanged in Northern Iran

On the morning of Wednesday October 4 [sic], 2 prisoners were reportedly hanged to death at Rajai Shahr Prison on murder charges. 

On the same day another prisoner charged with murder was reportedly hanged at Tabriz Central Prison.

On Sunday the 2 prisoners from Rajai Shahr Prison had been transferred to solitary confinement along with 5 other prisoners in preparation for their executions. 

According to close sources, the 5 other prisoners were returned to their prison cells after the plaintiffs on their case files allowed for the execution orders to be postponed.

According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, Biyuk Mohebbi, the prisoner from Tabriz Central, had been detained in prison for 13 years before he was executed.

Iranian official sources have not reported or commented on these 3 executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, November 4, 2015

Girl on Death Row Since Age 12 Saved from Execution

Somayeh was 12 years old when she was arrested by Iranian authorities for allegedly participating in the murder of her father. She along with her mother, Tahereh, were transferred to prison and sentenced to death.

Now, after 7 years of enduring prison, Somayeh is no longer living in the shadow of death. According to reports, the teenager was saved from execution and released from prison after Article 91 of the revised Islamic Penal Code was implemented on her case. The news was announced by Iran state run media outlet, Farheekhtegan.

According to the report, Somayeh's mother is still imprisoned and on death row. The report also claims that Somayeh said in one of her court hearings: "I was only 12 years old and was under the influence of my mother." Somayeh was reportedly sentenced to death twice by Branch 74 of Tehran's Criminal Court, the 2nd time her sentence was confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court.

Article 91 states: "In the cases of offenses punishable by hadd or qisas, if mature people under 18 years do not realize the nature of the crime committed or its prohibition, or of there is uncertainty about their full mental development, according to their age, they shall be sentenced to the punishments prescribed in this chapter."

Source: Iran Human Rights, November 4, 2015

Call to save 7 Sunni political prisoners on verge of execution

The Iranian Resistance urges immediate action by the UN Secretary-General, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council, relevant UN Rapporteurs, and all human rights agencies throughout the world to save the lives of seven Sunni political prisoners on the verge of execution.

The Iranian Resistance also calls on religious leaders and scholars worldwide, as well as Muslim clerics, Sunni or Shia, to join the campaign against these criminal executions.

6 of these prisoners, Messrs. Kaveh Vaissi, Pouria Mohammadi, Taleb Maleki, Mohammad Yavar Rahimi, Kaveh Sharifi and Bahman Rahimi were transferred on November 1 to Ward 4 of Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison in Karaj that is controlled by the Revolutionary Guards. All of these prisoners have been sentenced to death on the mullah-fabricated charge of "propaganda against the system, corruption of earth, and Moharebeh (enmity against God)."

There is no news on the condition of Mr. Haidar Rashidi, another Sunni prisoner that was transferred to Ward 4 of Gohardasht along with the other six, and there is also concern for his life.

Similarly, on March 4, 2015, 6 other Sunni political prisoners Messrs. Hamed Ahmadi, Jahangir and Jamshid Dehghani (2 28 and 29 year old brothers), Kamal Molai, Sediq Mohammadi, and Hadi Hosseini, 31, were hanged while they were on hunger strike and injured because of their battering by the Revolutionary Guards.

The Iranian regime, especially following its 1 step involuntary retreat in its nuclear weapons project, is facing increasing domestic and international crises. In order to prevent a widespread popular uprising and an explosion of ire of a fed up population, it has found its only resort in further suppression and massacre of defenseless prisoners, atrocities that more than ever betray the myth of moderation of this oppressive regime.

Source: NCRI, November 5; 2015

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