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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…

Iran: Ten hanged over drug, murder, rape charges

Iranian authorities hanged 5 prisoners early Tuesday morning for alleged drug related offenses, but Iranian official sources are silent about these executions.

5 prisoners were reportedly hanged early morning on Tuesday October 25 for alleged drug related offenses. Close sources say the execution sentences may have been carried out at either Karaj Central Prison or nearby Ghezel Hesar Prison.

Iran Human Rights is aware of the names of 3 of the prisoners: Saeed Pourhassan, Mehrshad Kalhori, and Milad Beigdeli. 

These 3 prisoners along with the other 2 were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement cells at Karaj Central Prison on Saturday October 22 in preparation for their execution.

"If they gave us until 2 in the afternoon, we could have stopped Saeed's execution. [Mehrshad Kalhori and Milad Beigdeli] had claimed to authorities that Saeed was guilty, but they wrote a letter retracting their claim stating that their confessions were false and given out of spite. They thought if they gave the names of others to the authorities that they all would be issued light prison sentences. We gave the letter to authorities and pleaded with them to postpone Saeed's execution for several hours. But, they threw the letter away and even attempted to run us over with a car," the brother of Saeed Hassanpour tells Iran Human Rights.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and the media, have been silent about these 5 executions.

4 Executed for Drug Trafficking, Murder


2 prisoners with drug related charges were reportedly hanged at Salmas Prison (West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran) and 2 prisoners with murder charges were reportedly hanged at Sepidar Ahwaz Prison (Khuzestan province, western Iran).

According a report by the the state-run news site, Rokna, 2 brothers charged with murder were hanged at Sepidar Ahwaz Prison on the morning of Monday October 24. The report identifies the prisoners as "Hassan" and "Mohsen".

According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network and information received by Iran Human Rights, 2 prisoners, identified as Bakhtiar Khaledi and Shoresh Mizrapour, were hanged at Salmas Prison on Monday October 24 for alleged drug related offenses.

3 Prisoners Executed in Southern Iran


3 prisoners were reportedly hanged in Shiraz on kidnapping and rape charges. The exact location of the executions is not known at this time.

According to a report by the Judiciary in the Fars province, the executions were carried out on the morning of Monday October 24. The report says one of the prisoners was initially arrested on drug related charges.

The report identifies the prisoners as Reza N., Mohammad A., and Hashem P. Their execution sentences were reportedly issued by branch 4 of the criminal court in Fars and were confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court.

Source: iranhr.net, October 25, 2016

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