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2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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With crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, 2018 was a deeply violent and barbaric year for Saudi Arabia, under his de facto leadership.
PhotoDeera Square is a public space located in front of the Religious Police building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which public executions (usually by beheading) take place. It is sometimes known as Justice Square and colloquially called Chop Chop Square. After Friday prayers, police and other officials clear the area to make way for the execution to take place. After the beheading of the condemned, the head is stitched to the body which is wrapped up and taken away for the final rites.
This year execution rates of 149 executions, shows an increase from than previous year of three executions, indicating that death penalty trends are soaring and there is no reversal of this trend in sight.
The execution rates between 2015-2018 are amongst the highest recorded in the Kingdom since the 1990s and coincide with the ascension of king Salman to the …

Northeast Texas man on death row for strangling girlfriend turned down by SCOTUS

Daniel Acker
The U.S. Supreme Court turned down Daniel Acker's appeal on Monday.

A northeast Texas man convicted of strangling his girlfriend moved one step closer to a possible execution date after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down his appeal despite what his lawyer described as a "compelling case of actual innocence."

Daniel Acker was sent to death row in 2001 for the slaying of Marquetta George. The two were sharing a rented trailer in Hopkins County in March 2000 when they got in a fight after a night at the Bustin' Loose nightclub.

Afterward, they parted ways and later Acker went searching for the 32-year-old Sulphur Springs woman, according to court filings. Her body was eventually found bloodied and beaten on the side of a road, and investigators fingered Acker for the killing.

At trial, the defense argued that George jumped out of the couple's truck and was hit. Prosecutors said her boyfriend strangled her, then dumped her body.

Acker was sentenced to death and has spent the past 18 years fighting his case, at times filing appeals on his own.

The latest appeal, filed by attorney A. Richard Ellis, argued that prosecutors used false testimony from experts and repeatedly changed their theory of the crime. The case at trial was predicated on the theory that George was strangled - and the defense argued that she wasn't, and that an expert for the state later admitted it.

Ellis also contended that the trial court of wrongly refused to allow evidence that could have shown Acker's innocence.

But this week the nation's highest court without comment turned down the case.

"I am of course very disappointed that the Supreme Court declined to review Mr. Acker's compelling case of actual innocence," Ellis said.

"This was a tragic accident, where the victim jumped from Mr. Acker's truck -- an accident for which he has taken full responsibility from the time he turned himself in to the authorities -- but not a murder," he continued. "Going forward, we will be assessing our options to prevent a terrible miscarriage of justice."

Acker does not yet have an execution date set.

Source: Houston Chronicle, Keri Blakinger, April 16, 2018


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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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