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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…

Young Prisoner Hanged in Public in Northern Iran

Public execution in Iran (file photo)
Public execution in Iran (file photo)
On Monday December 14, a young prisoner was hanged in public in Noshahr (a city in the province of Mazandaran) on murder charges.

According to close sources, the prisoner's name is Milad Khodavardi and he was arrested in 2012 for allegedly murdering a woman by the name of Mehri Mallamiri. 

A source who has asked to be annonymous claims that Khodavardi was under the age of 18 at the time of the murder.

Iranian state run media, IRNA, quoting Ali Akbar Alizadeh, the Public Prosecutor of Noshahr, has confirmed the execution. 

According to IRNA, Khodavardi was 20 years old when Iranian authorities executed him.

Iran is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that the death penalty shall not be issued to individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their crime. 

Khodavardi's death sentence was reportedly confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court before the execution was carried out.

IHR was able to obtain a photo of Khodavardi after he was hanged to death.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 14, 2015

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