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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 …

Five Hanged in Northern Iran on Drug Charges

On the morning of Saturday April 9, 5 prisoners were reportedly hanged at Rasht's Lakan Prison (in the provine of Gilan, northern Iran) on drug charges.

The prisoners had reportedly been transferred out of their wards on Thursday April 7 and taken to solitary confinement cells in preparation for their executions.

According to close sources, Rashid Kouhi, Seyed Javad Mirzadeh and Hossein Farhadi are the names of 3 of the prisoners. 

Iran Human Rights is in the process of investigating the identities of the 2 other prisoners. 

All 5 prisoners were reportedly on death row for drug related offenses.

According to Amnesty International, 36-year-old Rashid Kouhi was arrested in September 2011 and sentenced to death by the revolutionary court in Rudbar (a county in Gilan) for possession and trafficking 800 grams of methamphetamine. 

Close sources say prison authorities contacted Kouhi's family on April 7 and instructed them to come in for their last visit with him on Friday April 8 before his scheduled execution the next day.

Iranian authorities have admitted multiple times in the past that the death penalty has not decreased the volume of drug crimes in Iran, but Iranian authorities still continue to hang prisoners on drug charges. 

Human rights groups, including Iran Human Rights, have reported close to a thousand executions carried out in Iran in 2015.

 According to the annual death penalty report by Iran Human Rights, 66% of the executions carried out in 2015 in Iran were for drug related offenses.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 10, 2016

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