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Texas: Rodney Reed granted indefinite stay of execution

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Stay of execution came just hours after parole board unanimously recommended 120-day reprieve
The Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed was granted a stay of execution on Friday, 5 days before he was scheduled to be put to death for a murder he insists he did not commit.
The Texas court of criminal appeals blocked the execution indefinitely and sent the case back to the trial court in Bastrop county, where Reed was sentenced in 1998 for the murder of Stacey Stites two years earlier.
The court had previously rejected multiple appeals, but Reed’s lawyers argued that fresh evidence bolstered his claim of innocence. 
They said in a statement that they “are extremely relieved and thankful … this opportunity will allow for proper consideration of the powerful and mounting new evidence of Mr Reed’s innocence”.
Millions of people, including a clutch of celebrities, have rallied behind Reed’s cause, helping to generate momentum and public attention as the execution date of 20 November loomed an…

8 Hanged On Christmas Eve in Northern Iran; 26 Hanged between Dec. 22 and 24

Iran Human Rights, December 25, 2015: Two prisoners were hanged in the Ghezelhesar prison of Karaj (west of Tehran) on December 23, according to Iran Human Rights (IHR) sources in Iran.

The prisoners were identified as "Mehdi Khorram" and "Ebrahim Khorram" and were in their 30's. Both the prisoners were convicted of drug offences and were held in Unit 2 of Ghezelhesar prison.

IHR has received pictures of the prisoners. Iranian authorities have not announced the executions yet.

Several thousand prisoners sentenced to death for drug offences are held in the Ghezelhesar prison.

Iran Human Rights, December 25, 2015: Eight prisoners were hanged in the prison of Qazvin, northwest of Tehran, reported the official website of the Iranian Judiciary in Qazvin.

The prisoners were all convicted of drug offences and hanged on 24. December. Seven of the prisoners were identified as "Sajjad H.", "Ali B.", "Maher B.", "Habib M.", "Hossein A.", "Vahid A." and "Rahim K.M.".

Eight other prisoners were hanged in the same prison two days earlier on December 22. In 2015, several hudred prisoners have been executed in Iran for drug-related charges.

Despite this, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) recently signed a new cooperation agreement on fighting the drug trafficking with Iran.

Iran Human Rights (DEC 24 2015): Eight men with alleged drug charges were reportedly hanged at Qazvin Central Prison on the morning of Tuesday December 23.

According to the press department of the Judiciary in the province of Qazvin, quoting the Public Prosecutor of Qazvin city, the prisoners are: M.Rahnama, 35 years old; M. Faryab, 38 years old; Haj Rafiee, 40 years old; A. Bagharzadeh, 33 years old; B. Chekanloo, 35 years old; S. Kalhor, 31 years old; A. Habibzadeh, 29 years old; and Gh. Moradi, 38 years old.

A day earlier at Qazvin Central Prison, Iranian authorities hanged "A. Fallah", a man accused of murder and sentenced to death.

Earlier in the month, 70 Iranian MPs presented a proposal to Parliament calling for an end to the death penalty for unarmed drug offenders.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 24-25, 2015

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