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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 in Northern Iran, 2 in Southwestern Iran

Medieval and barbaric punishments: Public hanging in Iran
Medieval and barbaric punishments: Public hanging in Iran
The latest execution reports say Iranian authorities have hanged 5 prisoners at Tabriz Central Prison (East Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran), 2 prisoners at Urmia Central Prison (West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran), and 1 prisoner at Sari Prison (Mazandaran province, northern Iran).

The press department of the Judiciary in Mazandaran reports on the execution of the prisoner at Sari Prison, identified as "S.R.", 31 years old, hanged on murder charges on the morning of Wednesday May 18.

The human rights news agency HRANA and the Kurdistan Human Rights Network report on the execution of 2 prisoners, identified as "Dariush Farajzadeh" and "Ghafour Ghaderzadeh", who were hanged at Urmia Central Prison on Wednesday May 18 on murder charges. 

Another prisoner, identified as Khaled Zika, was reportedly taken to the gallows as well, but his life was spared last minute and he was returned to his cell after receiving consent for a postponement on his execution. There has been an increase in executions carried out at Urmia Central Prison. On Tuesday May 17, 6 prisoners were hanged at this prison on drug charges.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network reports on the execution of 5 prisoners at Tabriz Central Prison. Three prisoners, identified as "Rahim Khodayari", "Ramin Imani" and "Sohrab Sharbatiyeh", were hanged on murder charges on Tuesday May 17. The next day, 5 prisoners, identified as "Yaghoub Jahed" and "Seyed Jalal Abedi", were hanged on drug related charges.

It is important to note that Iranian authorities have increased the number of executions before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, when they typically do not carry out executions.

2 unidentified prisoners were reportedly hanged at Yasouj Central Prison on rape charges.

According to a state-run news agency, Young Journalists Club, these 2 prisoners were 26 and 34 years old at the time of their execution on Wednesday May 18. Yasouj Prison is located in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran.

Source: Iran Human Rights, May 19, 2016

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