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Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

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Convicted murderer Rodney Reed is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Nov. 20, but Gov. Greg Abbott has the power to stop it.
As it stands, there’s no indication that Abbott will. He has only stopped one execution since becoming governor 5 years ago.
Reed was sentenced to death in 1998, after being convicted of the brutal 1996 rape and killing of a 19-year-old woman from central Texas, Stacey Stites. And though the governor has yet to weigh in on this specific case, he supports capital punishment, as do most voters in the state. According to a June 2018 poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune, fully three-fourths of Texans strongly or somewhat support the death penalty.
But the question at hand has nothing to do with the death penalty, per se. Granting a reprieve would simply be the right thing to do — and a necessary precaution against the doubts that would linger, if Reed is executed as scheduled.
Reed has consistently maintained his innocence, and legitimate questions …

Iran: Inmate executed after suffering heart attack

Public hanging in Iran
Public hanging in Iran
In a heinous crime on April 5, 2017, a seriously ill prisoner was hanged in Esfahan prison. 

Houshang Servati was executed while 2 days earlier, after his transfer to solitary confinement, he had suffered a heart attack. He had 5 children.

The regime's henchmen keep persecuting and torturing prisoners to the last moments and their transfer to solitary confinement for the implementation of death sentence is accompanied by beating and insults.

On April 4, another ill prisoner was executed after 4 years detention in Tabriz prison. 

Before his arrest, he was exempt from military service because of mental illness.

In another development, on the morning of April 6, Gohardasht prison guards raided halls 30 and 35 of Ward 10 of the prison, insulted and humiliated prisoners and destructed their belongings, and took away their medications.


Inmate Hanged on Rape Charges


A prisoner was reportedly hanged at Kerman Central Prison onrape charges. 

A report by the press department of the Judiciary in the province of Kerman has identified the prisoner as "V.F.", 32 years of age. 

The date of the execution was not mentioned in the report.

Sources: NCRI, iranhr.net, April 11, 2017


Iran responsible for 2/3 of Middle East's executions in 2016: Amnesty International


Amnesty International today said that Iran was the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region's leading executioner in 2016, putting at least 567 people to death. 

That number included at least 2 and as many as 7 children.

Iran was followed in the rankings by Saudi Arabia - which executed at least 154 people - and Iraq, where at least 88 were executed.

Worldwide, the organization said that China executed more people than all the other countries in the world put together, with "thousands" of death sentences handed out each year.

China lists only 85 executions carried out between 2014 and 2016 in its state database, but Amnesty International found news reports of 931 individuals executed in that time. The organization said that figure still represents but a fraction of the total put to death.

Excluding China, however, countries from MENA carry out 83% of global executions.

"4 out of the world's top 6 executioners - Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Egypt - are from the MENA region and execution rates in these countries remain appallingly high." said James Lynch, Head of the Death Penalty team at Amnesty International.

While the number of executions in the region was down 28% from 2015, the organization said that year had seen an unusually high number of executions.

The number of people executed in Egypt doubled in 2016, from 22 to 44. The country is now ranked 6th worldwide for executions.

"Many MENA states justify their use of the death penalty by claiming that they are acting to counter grave security threats, despite there being no evidence that the death penalty deters violent crime," Lynch added.

The organization also said that death sentences in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iran were often imposed after "grossly unfair" trials, many of which relied on "confessions" obtained through torture.

Source: albawaba.com, April 11, 2017

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