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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…

Myanmar: 'Exorcist' who pled guilty to murdering 3 children sentenced to death by hanging

Rangoon, Myanmar
The self-proclaimed 'exorcist' who beat 3 children to death has been handed the death sentence, a court ruled earlier today.

After pleading guilty to the murder charges last November, the perpetrator, Tun Naing, was tried under Sections 302 and 325 for committing grievous harm and murder. 

Today, the Yangon Southern District Court sentenced him to 7 years in jail under Section 325, and to death by hanging under Section 302, Mizzima reports.

Tun Naing was arrested last October for beating 3 children - aged 3 years, 2 years, and 8 months - to death in an attempt to rid their bodies of evil spirits. He also reportedly gave the children's families and other villagers 'blessed' water and put them in a 'trance', and killed the children as they watched. Police reports noted that the bodies showed signs of being kicked, punched, and stamped on.

While the death penalty still exists in Myanmar, it is rarely carried out. The most recent death sentence was handed out in the case of Uruma, the man who was found guilty of leading the October attacks on the Maungdaw border posts. 

According to official records, the last known execution under the death sentence took place in 1988.

In January 2014, then-President Thein Sein commuted all outstanding death sentences to life in prison.

Today, those handed the death penalty can make an appeal to the Chief Justice within a week to commute the verdict to a life sentence. If their appeal is rejected, a similar appeal can be made to the President.

Source: coconuts.co, June 20, 2017

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