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Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

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Convicted murderer Rodney Reed is scheduled to die by lethal injection on Nov. 20, but Gov. Greg Abbott has the power to stop it.
As it stands, there’s no indication that Abbott will. He has only stopped one execution since becoming governor 5 years ago.
Reed was sentenced to death in 1998, after being convicted of the brutal 1996 rape and killing of a 19-year-old woman from central Texas, Stacey Stites. And though the governor has yet to weigh in on this specific case, he supports capital punishment, as do most voters in the state. According to a June 2018 poll from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune, fully three-fourths of Texans strongly or somewhat support the death penalty.
But the question at hand has nothing to do with the death penalty, per se. Granting a reprieve would simply be the right thing to do — and a necessary precaution against the doubts that would linger, if Reed is executed as scheduled.
Reed has consistently maintained his innocence, and legitimate questions …

5 worrying things we’ve learned from new Saudi execution numbers

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Saudi Arabia has executed 137 people this year – 11 in just the last two weeks. Our team has analysed the numbers and uncovered some worrying trends.

Here’s what we’ve learned:

1. This could be another record-breaking year for executions

At the current rate, Saudi Arabia is on course to exceed the record totals of the last two years, when 158 and then 154 people were executed. This means that Saudi Arabia is on track to execute 2030 people by the year 2030.


2. The new Crown Prince is no social reformer

Mohammed Bin Salman has been vocal about modernising Saudi Arabia but has instead overseen a dramatic increase in executions. He is the key architect behind the reforms of Vision 2030, but 96 executions have been carried out since he came to power just six months ago. His failure to address Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights record and the imminent execution of 14 protesters has left questions about his commitment to real reform.

3. The Saudi authorities seem to have been emboldened after President Trump’s visit

Execution rates have increased dramatically since President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and failed to raise human rights concerns. Seemingly emboldened by Trump’s support, 73% of the year’s executions have take place since his visit.


4. Political protesters are being executed again

Those executed since Mohammed Bin Salman became Crown Prince include at least one political protester, who was executed in July. This marked the first protest-related execution since January 2016, when a mass execution provoked an international outcry. A return to protest-related executions has sparked fresh fears for the 14 young people on death row for ‘protest-related offences’.


5. Executions are becoming more coordinated

The Saudi authorities have carried out mass executions this year, with several executions happening regularly on the same day in different provinces on a regular basis. This is a new trend – and we think it suggests the execution system is becoming more sophisticated and coordinated under Mohammed Bin Salman.

Source: Reprieve, December 19, 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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