Innocent on Death Row? New Evidence Casts Doubt on Convictions

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: Three hanged on drug charges, one for 'waging war against God'

Public execution in Iran
One more prisoner was hanged on drug related charges, and a prisoner was hanged on security charges, including "Corruption on Earth" and "Enmity against God".

Iran Human Rights (AUG 25 2017): A prisoner was reportedly hanged at Maragheh Prison on drug related charges, and a prisoner was reportedly hanged at Kerman Central Prison on Corruption on Earth and Moharebeh (enmity against God) charges.

According to close sources, the prisoner at Maragheh Prison was executed on the morning of Wednesday August 16. The prisoner has been identified as Manouchehr Heydarkhah, 26 years of age, sentenced to death on drug related charges. "Manouchehr was arrested four years ago on the charge of 14 kilograms and 800 grams of crystal meth, and he was sentenced to death by the revolutionary court in Maragheh," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights.

According to the state-run news agency, Rokna, on the morning of Tuesday August 22, a prisoner identified as Arya Javidan was executed on "Corruption on Earth" and "Enmity Against God" charges. The report mentions that Arya Javidan had several previous convictions including murder, robbery, kidnapping, and extortion. The report also mentions that Arya Javidan is father of three.

Prisoner hanged on drug charges, religious minority prisoner at imminent risk of execution

Iran Human Rights (AUG 25 2017): A prisoner was reportedly hanged at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison on drug related charges. Another prisoner was transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.

Close sources say the prisoner at Rajai Shahr Prison was executed on the morning of Wednesday August 23 on drug related charges. The prisoner has been identified as Sadegh Gholami, sentenced to death on the charge of approximately one kilograms of crack. He was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on Tuesday August 15 in preparation for his execution.

Last week, an informed source told Iran Human Rights: "Sadegh Gholami was scheduled to be executed last year on drug related charges, but in order to delay his execution, he murdered one of his cellmates. The status of the new case file opened for him for the murder crime is uncertain right now. Sadegh is attempting to receive forgiveness from the complainant on his new case file in order to be spared from execution."

Some prisoners on death row in Iran have been known to murder a cellmate or inflict self-injury in order to postpone their execution sentences. However, in Mr. Gholami's case, he was executed on his original conviction.

On Tuesday August 22, a Sunni prisoner identified as Seyed Jamal Seyed Mousavi (pictured below) was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution. Mr. Seyed Mousavi also spent last week in solitary confinement. He was transferred back to his cell to only be transferred back to solitary confinement on the same day. Close sources say Mr. Seyed Mousavi has already received his last visit with his family.

Seyed Jamal Seyed Mousavi was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence in Sanandaj in 2008, he was sentenced to death by a revolutionary court on the charge of "Moharebeh (enmity against God) through cooperation with Salafi groups.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 25, 2017

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