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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: Five Prisoners Executed on Drug, Armed Robbery Charges

Public hanging, Iran
Iran Human Rights (JULY 18 2017): Four prisoners were reportedly hanged at Isfahan Central Prison, and a prisoner was reportedly hanged at Chabahar Prison.

According to close sources, on the morning of Monday July 17, four prisoners were hanged at Isfahan Central Prison. 

Iran Human Rights has obtained the identities of two of the prisoners: Saeed Diyagar, charged with 800 grams of heroin, and Morteza Barghi, charged with 2.5 kilograms of heroin. 

The other two prisoners were reportedly hanged on Moharebeh (enmity against God) through armed robbery charges. 

Iran Human Rights has not been able to confirm the identities of these two prisoners. 

One of these prisoners reportedly stabbed himself with a knife in order to delay his execution. The prisoner was reportedly given stitches then transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.

'Morteza Barghi was earning money from beading work in the prison in order to support his wife and child," an informed source told Iran Human Rights.

The Baluch Activists Campaign has reported on the execution of one prisoner on the morning of Sunday July 16 at Chabahar Prison (Sistan & Baluchestan province, southern Iran). 

The prisoner has been identified as Akhardad Hamli. The prisoner was reportedly arrested eight years ago on drug related charges.

Executions for drug related charges are still being carried out in Iran, even though the general outline of a bill to reform the death penalty for drug charges was approved by the Iranian Parliament

If the final bill is approved, the death sentences for many prisoners with drug charges will be commuted to a prison sentence.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and the state-run media, have not announced any of these executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 18, 2017

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