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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…

Saudi Arabia executes another prisoner, bringing to 55 number of convicts put to death this year

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Saudi Arabia on Thursday executed one of its citizens for murder, bringing to 55 the number of convicts put to death this year.

Authorities in the southwestern region of Aseer carried out the death sentence against Owaidhah al-Saadi, the interior ministry said in a statement.

A court found him guilty of shooting dead another Saudi following a dispute, it said.

Most executions in Saudi Arabia are done by beheading with a sword.

The kingdom on January 2 executed 47 people in a single day for "terrorism".

According to an AFP tally, Saadi is among 8 other locals and foreigners put to death this year.

New York-based Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged the country to abolish its "ghastly" beheadings.

"Saudi Arabia made positive changes for women and foreign workers in 2015, but these steps were overshadowed by its continued use of cruel punishments such as flogging and beheading," HRW's Sarah Leah Whitson said as the watchdog released its 2016 world report.

"Saudi Arabia should reform its justice system and halt these ghastly punishments."

Last year the kingdom executed 153 people, mostly for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP tally.

Amnesty International says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia in 2015 was the highest in 2 decades.

The kingdom practices a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Source: therakyatpost.com, January 30, 2016

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