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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: 3 Prisoners Hanged in Qom

Public execution in Iran
They were sentenced to death about 21 years ago based on the Judge's opinion rather than actual documented evidence.

3 prisoners were reportedly hanged at Qom Central Prison on murder charges. The case files for these prisoners were reportedly opened about 21 years ago.

According to a report by the human rights news agency, HRANA, the Iranian authorities carried out the 3 executions on the morning of Tuesday August 15. 

The report identifies the prisoners as Mahmoud Arab Khorasani, Mehdi Kaseb, and Mohammad Taghi Dehparvar. 

The prisoners were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday August 13 in preparation for their executions.

"These three prisoners were sentenced to death about 21 years ago based on the Judge's opinion rather than actual documented evidence," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights. "21 years ago, 2 of the prisoners had their death sentences commuted to lashings and a 3-year prison term each. However, they were tried again and sentenced to death."

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and the state-run media, have not announced these 3 executions.


Prisoner with no previous criminal record to be executed at any moment on drug charges


A prisoner with drug charges and no previous criminal record is in imminent danger of execution. He may be hanged at any moment.

Iran Human Rights (AUG 19 2017): A prisoner at Isfahan Central Prison who is on death row for drug charges was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution. According to close sources, the transfer occurred on the morning of Saturday August 19. 

Close sources have identified the prisoner as Karim Shahbakhsh.

"Karim was sentenced to death despite never having had a criminal record. He was sentenced to death on the charge of 120 kilograms of heroin and 140 kilograms of opium. He was convicted along with another person who was executed two months ago," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights.

Mr. Shahbakhsh is reportedly scheduled to be executed in the coming days.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 19, 2017


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