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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…

Pakistani among two drug dealers executed by Saudi Arabia

Medieval and barbaric: public beheading in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Medieval and barbaric: public beheading in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia executed two convicted drug traffickers on Thursday, bringing the number of prisoners killed in the kingdom to 20 so far this year.

The state-run SPA news agency named the two men as Saudi Arabian national Nasser Harshan and Pakistani national Namtallah Khasta Qul.

Both were put to death on Thursday after being convicted of drug trafficking in the kingdom.

SPA said Harshan was a repeat offender found guilty of dealing hashish. Qul was found guilty of dealing heroin.

More than 150 people were executed last year in Saudi Arabia, according to London-based rights group Amnesty International.

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code (Sharia) under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Amnesty reported 158 death penalties in the country for 2015, the highest annual rate in the past two decades.

Among those executed last year was Shia cleric Nimr al Nimr, a high-profile figure behind a string of Shia protests in 2011 demanding reform in the kingdom.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 23, 2017

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