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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: At least 10 executions

Medieval and barbaric: Public hanging in Iran
Iran Human rights (Dec 20 2017): At least eight prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj mostly on murder charges.

According to a close source, on the morning of Wednesday December 20, at least eight prisoners were executed at Rajai Shahr Central Prison. 

The prisoners, mostly charged with murder, were transferred to solitary confinement from different wards of the prison in a group of 10 on Monday December 18.

Four of the executed prisoners were identified as: Mostafa Chardouli from ward 2, Amir Abbas Ardestani from ward 3, Hamid Abdollahi from ward 6 (youth ward), and Nima Esma’ilian from ward 4.

“Hamid was 24 and had been in prison for murder since he was 19,” said a close source to Iran Human Rights (IHR) about Hamid Abdollahi.

Mohammad Qobad from ward 10 and Ali Ma’sumi from ward 7 were returned to their cells by either asking for time or winning the consent of the plaintiffs.

Moreover, on Saturday December 16, four other prisoners from ward 5 of this prison were transferred to solitary confinement to be executed in public. 

The prisoners were sentenced to death on the charge of armed robbery. They were identified as Moslem Mohammadi, Mohsen Kamali, and Abolfazl. According to the latest reports, the prisoners are still in solitary confinement.

The execution of the eight prisoners 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 execution sentences in 2016 were implemented 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 intensity and intent.

Prisoner executed at Zahedan Central Prison on murder charges


According to HRANA News Agency, on the morning of Wednesday December 20, a prisoner was executed at Zahedan Central Prison. 

The identity of the prisoner, who was charged with murder, was Yaser Salar Rashid, 23. He had been in prison for five years.

“Yaser was transferred to solitary confinement 20 days ago as a punishment because he got into a fight with a social worker and broke his computer,” said a close source.

The execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the state-run media so far.


Prisoner executed at Zanjan Central Prison on murder charges


According to a close source, on the morning of Tuesday December 19, a prisoner was hanged at Zanjan Central Prison. 

The prisoner, identified as Yasin Abedi from Qazvin, was charged with murder.

“Yasin worked with a derrick before he went to prison. One day he got into a fight with a man over financial issues and murdered him,” said a close source to Iran Human Rights (IHR).

Yasin Abedi had been in Zanjan Central Prison since 2011. Iran Human Rights had previously warned that he might get executed.

The execution of this prisoner 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 execution sentences in 2016 were implemented due to murder charges. 

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 21, 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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