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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: Eight Prisoners Hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison

Iran execution
Iran Human Rights (JULY 6 2017): On the morning of Wednesday July 5, eight prisoners were reportedly hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison. 

According to close sources, the prisoners were likely executed on murder charges.

Iran Human Rights has obtained the names of four of these prisoners: Ghahreman Abbaspour, Abbas Yousefi, Nasser Avangah and Omid Rostami.

The eight individuals were among a group of eleven prisoners who were transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday July 2 in preparation for their executions. 

The execution sentences of three of the eleven prisoners were not carried out, and they were returned to their cells.

The human rights news agency, HRANA, had reported that Ghahreman Abbaspour was sentenced to death for murder based on Qasameh (a testimonial given under oath) and despite the lack of evidence against him.

Qasameh is one way, within the Islamic jurisprudence and criminal law in Iran, to prove crimes related to murder and physical injuries without enough evidence against the suspect. 

Qasameh is used when a judge believes the testimonial to be true despite lack of evidence.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 6, 2017

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