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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: Man Charged With Rape Hanged in Rajai Shahr Prison

Public flogging in Iran
Prison authorities in Rajai Shahr break routine and execute a prisoner on a Monday rather than the usual Wednesday.

A 29-year-old man who was sentenced to death for the charge of rape was reportedly hanged at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison. 

According to a report by the state-run news outlet, Iran, the execution of the man, who was only identified as "Morad", was carried out on the morning of Monday August 28. 

The report says "Morad" burglarized the house of a 62-year-old woman whom he raped.

In addition to the death sentence, the prisoner was also issued a 10-year prison term and 74 lashes for the charge of theft, and a 1-year prison term for the charge of beating up a police officer.

Executions in Rajai Shahr Prison are typically carried out on Wednesdays, but "Morad" was hanged on a Monday.

Unidentified Prisoner Hanged in Public


An unidentified prisoner who was sentenced to death on the charge of "raping a married woman" was hanged in public in Bandar Abbas while a crowd of people watched.

According to a report by the state-run news agency, Mehr, the public hanging sentence of the man was carried out on the morning of Thursday August 31. 

The report says the prisoner was also charged with kidnapping and armed robbery and was issued prison and lashing sentences for those charges.

The research of Iran Human Rights shows 34 people were hanged in public in Iran in 2016 and an audience of hundreds of people, including children, were present for most of these hangings. 

Human rights activists and informed members of civil society have always severely criticized this issue.

Source: Iran Human Rights, September 1, 2017


Urgent Action: PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE SENTENCED TO DEATH


On 27 August a Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced spiritual teacher Mohammad Ali Taheri to death for "spreading corruption on earth" for establishing the spiritual group Erfan-e Halgheh. He has been held in solitary confinement for over 6 years.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

* Urging the Iranian authorities to quash Mohammad Ali Taheri's conviction and death sentence and release him immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience targeted solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights to freedoms of belief, expression and association;

* Reminding them that, under international human rights law, the death penalty may only be used for "the most serious crimes", which international bodies have interpreted as being limited to crimes involving intentional killings, and that the charges brought against him do not meet this threshold;

* Calling on them to order an independent and impartial investigation into his prolonged solitary confinement, which violates the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, and bring those responsible to justice;

* Expressing concern that, in violation of the legal prohibition of double jeopardy, he was tried three times in relation to the same peaceful activities

Friendly reminder: If you send an email, please create your own instead of forwarding this one!

Contact these 2 officials by 12 October, 2017:

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
c/o Public Relations Office Number 4
2 Azizi Street intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency

H.E. Gholamali Khoshroo
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
622 Third Avenue, 34th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Phone: (212) 687-2020 I Fax: (212) 867-7086
Email: iran@un.int

Salutation: Your Excellency

Source: Amnesty International, September 1, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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