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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…

Iraq executes 7 Arab men on terrorism convictions

At least 7 men of different Arab nationalities were hanged Wednesday in Iraq on charges of links to al-Qaeda and convictions for terrorist crimes, officials said.

"The death penalty has been carried out against 7 terrorists holding various Arab nationalities after the completion of their legal procedures," read a statement by the Iraqi ministry of justice.

The 7 were captured at least 4 years ago and found guilty of terrorist activities with al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"The blood of the martyrs will not go unpunished," Haidar al-Zamili, Iraq's justice minister, said in the statement.

The executed were from Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. 

They were all hanged at the Nasiriyah prison in southern Iraq, said a local official from Dhiqar province, also in southern Iraq.

In June, the Iraqi Justice Ministry announced that in the 1st half of this year, it carried out 45 executions.

Another 36 were hanged for their involvement in a massacre at the Speicher military base, where ISIS killed 1,700 Shiite cadets. The cadets were killed after ISIS took over large swathes of Iraq and seized Mosul, starting in June 2014.

Source: rudaw.net, September 1, 2016

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