Did Texas execute an innocent man? Film revisits a haunting question.

Texans will have an opportunity to revisit a question that should haunt anyone who believes in the integrity of our criminal justice system: Did our state execute an innocent man? 
The new film “Trial by Fire” tells the true story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was sentenced to death for setting a fire to his home in Corsicana that killed his three young daughters in 1991. The film is based on an investigative story by David Grann that appeared in the New Yorker in 2009, five years after Willingham was executed over his vociferous protestations of innocence.
In my experience of serving 8 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and 4 years as a state district judge in Travis County, the Willingham case stands out to me for many of the same reasons it stood out to filmmaker Edward Zwick, who calls it a veritable catalogue of everything that’s wrong with the criminal justice system and, especially, the death penalty. False testimony, junk science, a jailhouse informant, and ineffe…

Iran: Three prisoners executed at Rajai Shahr Prison

Iran, Public execution
Iran Human Rights (IHR), 3 October 2018: Three prisoners who were sentenced to death by Iranian system of retribution in kind (qisas law) on murder charges, have been executed at Rajai Shahr Prison.

Based on information from Iran Human Rights (IHR) sources, three prisoners held at Rajai Shahr Prison were executed on the morning of 3 October 2018. 

As part of a group of 14 prisoners, the three inmates who had previously been found guilty of murder were moved to solitary confinement on Monday, October 2nd, in preparation for their execution.

Their identities were given as Mahmood Akbari, Yasser Eslami, Omid Khosronejad. Mahmood Akbari had committed murder in a street fight.

Moreover, with regard to Yasser Shahbazi and Omid Khosronejad, a source informed Iran Human Rights that: “These two inmates who are guilty of the same crime committed murder in defence of their honour.”

Ali Iranshahi, Mahmud Qorbani, Majeed Abedi and Masood Maqsoodi had also been moved to solitary confinement in preparation of their execution but were returned to their cells after being granted a reprieve by their plaintiffs. 

The execution of two other inmates held at Rajai Shahr Prison,  Reza Wazefi and Hossein Golpa, was postponed as the claimants had failed to appear at the prison. 

Two other inmates, Mehdi Danesh and Ali Asqarqolami, were likewise moved to solitary confinement but spared execution with the claimants’ consent.

At the time of writing this article, Iran’s domestic media networks had not published any news on the fate of these prisoners.

So far, the highest number of executions in 2018 were for murder and at Rajai Shahr Prison.

Source: Iran Human Rights, October 4, 2018

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