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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: Two executed for drug trafficking, murder

Public hanging, Iran
Iran Human Rights (SEPT 25 2017): One prisoner was reportedly executed at Ardebil Central Prison (Northwestern Iran).

According to a close source, on the morning of Wednesday September 20, a prisoner was executed at Ardebil Central Prison on drug related charges.

The prisoner was identified as Tofigh Yousefi. On the morning of Sunday September 17, Tofigh Yousefi and another prisoner, named Shahin Parsajou, were transferred to solitary confinement. 

Iran Human Rights (IHR) had reported the execution of Shahin Parsajou which was carried out on Monday September 18. However, Tofigh’s execution was delayed until Wednesday for unknown reasons.

The execution of Tofigh Yousefi and Shahin Parsajou has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

The execution of prisoners with drug related charges continues to be carried out in Iran despite the fact that the bill for the amendment to the drug law in Iran has been approved by Iranian Parliament. However, the Guardian Council must still approve the bill.


Prisoner executed at Urmia Central Prison (Darya) northwestern Iran


According to a close source, on the morning of Tuesday September 26, the execution sentence of a prisoner who was charged with murder was carried out at Urmia Central Prison. 

The prisoner was identified as Javad Khayyeri from ward 15. 

Javad Khayyeri was transferred to solitary confinement along with three other prisoners yesterday. 

The three prisoners returned to their cells after either winning the consent of the plaintiff or asking for time.

Javad Khayyeri was charged with drug trafficking and murdering a police officer and was sentenced to death twice. But the death sentence for his drug related charges was reduced to life imprisonment a while ago.

This execution has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 142 of the 530 executions in 2016 were due to murder charges. 

There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran, which results in issuing death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intent.

Source: Iran Human Rights, September 27, 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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