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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…

Pakistan hangs 2 brothers for murdering 6 people

The execution comes just days after Amnesty International called out Pakistan for being the world's 3rd most prolific executioner

Pakistan on Saturday, April 9, hanged two brothers convicted of murdering 6 people from the same family, just days after Amnesty International criticized the country for becoming the world's 3rd most prolific executioner after China and Iran.

Nasir Mehmood and Tahir Iqbal were hanged in a jail in the eastern Pakistani city of Sialkot early Saturday for the 2002 murders, senior prison official Chaudhry Arshad Saeed Arain told AFP.

The hanged men killed 6 members of a family over a land dispute, jail officials said. No further details were available.

A 6-year moratorium on the death penalty was lifted in Pakistan after Taliban attackers gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014.

Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but in March they were extended to all capital offences.

Executions in the Muslim-majority nation have helped fuel an increase worldwide, Amnesty International said in a report this week, with at least 1,634 people put to death globally in 2015, the highest figure recorded since 1989.

"Over the past year, Pakistan has vaulted to the number 3 spot for recorded state executions in the world - a shameful position no one should aspire to," Champa Patel, director of Amnesty's South Asia office, told AFP.

Pakistan executed 326 people last year, Patel said.

The overwhelming majority of those hanged since Pakistan fully restored the death penalty in March 2015 had no links to terrorism, said Sarah Belal, director of the Justice Project Pakistan, which advocates the abolition of hanging and represents death row convicts.

Source: rappler.com, April 8, 2016

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