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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 …

UN 'Deeply' Troubled by Somalia's Summary Executions

Firing squad execution of suspected militants in Somalia, August 2014.
Firing squad execution of suspected militants in Somalia, August 2014.
The United Nations is "deeply concerned" about summary executions against suspected militants in Somalia, a UN official said, echoing previous concerns by a New-York based rights group which accused Somalia's military court of carrying out rapid executions.

Speaking to the reporters in the Somali capital on Tuesday, Ivan Simonovic, the U.N Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights has urged Somalia's government to give defendant an adequate time to prepare a defense before proceeding to convictions.

"I think we have to act in accordance with the international law." Mr. Simonovic said at the press conference.

He also warned of abuses against militants in the government-run jails, urging the government against convicting and sentencing suspected militants without due process.

"You cannot defeat Al-Shabab only by military operations only, but you should instead address the actual roots and origins of the extremism, which includes poverty, corruption, mismanagement and discrimination against minority people." he said.

The UN's concerns follow previous reports by the Human Rights Watch which called into question the quality of justice in Somalia's military courts.

Under international law, the death penalty is permitted only after a rigorous judicial process - a fair trial in which the defendant has adequate time to prepare a defence and appeal the sentence, among other requirements.

"A central concern was the speed at which death sentences have been carried out." the rights group said in a lengthy report issued this year.

The group has also called for Somali president to impose a moratorium on the death penalty, and that his government to work to ensure that all national courts, civilian and military, respect fair trial standards. "Without serious improvements in the quality of trials, the injustices of the past will continue." the report said. MFA

Source: geeskaafrika.com, November 19, 2015

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