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Frances Newton in una foto d’archivio – 16 agosto 2005
Frances Newton - Aug. 16, 2005 file photo
TEXAS, USA. FRANCES NEWTON EXECUTED IN HUNTSVILLE

September 14, 2005: Frances Newton, a woman convicted of killing her family, became the first black female to be executed in Texas since before the US Civil War after last-minute legal and political pleas to save her failed.
Newton, 40, died by lethal injection for the April 1987 shooting deaths of her husband and two children. Prosecutors said the motive was $100,000 in life insurance but Newton blamed the killings on an unknown drug dealer. The main evidence against Newton was repeated ballistics testing of a pistol she allegedly hid under a house that showed the gun was used to kill her family. Gunpowder residue was also found on her skirt.
Newton's lawyers disputed the gunpowder tests, saying the residue also could have come from common garden fertilizer. They also claimed police found another weapon in the abandoned house, clouding whether the one she hid was the murder weapon.
Prosecutors say there was only one gun. The lawyers also blamed her former court-appointed attorney, saying he conducted no investigation, had little contact with her and had not subpoenaed any witnesses for the defense by the time her trial began. Newton was the 13th person executed in Texas this year. She declined to make a final statement or a last meal request. The state has nine more executions scheduled so far for 2005, including six in November. Newton is the fifth woman known to have been executed in Texas. A black slave named Lucy is thought to have been the first in 1858. Two female murderers, both white, have been put to death since Texas resumed executions in 1982 after a brief national ban on capital punishment imposed by the US Supreme Court.
"For a long time I believed in the death penalty. But now I know that the system can't be trusted to be right. I've been wrongly accused, wrongly convicted," Newton told the Houston Chronicle in an interview. (Sources: Reuters, 14/09/2005)

JAPAN. COURT HEARING ON "SECRET EXECUTIONS" OPENS
CHINA. FAKE OFFICIAL AMONG 24 EXECUTED IN CHINA AHEAD OF NATIONAL DAY
CHINA. DEATH PENALTY WILL STAY DESPITE MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE
PAKISTAN. CONVICTED OF RAPING AND KILLING A 6-YEAR-OLD GIRL EXECUTED
INDIANA, USA. ALAN MATHENEY EXECUTED
OHIO, USA. MAN INVOLVED IN $40 ROBBERY EXECUTED
SAUDI ARABIA. SAUDI EXECUTED FOR HOMICIDE
INDONESIA. AUTHORITIES POSTPONE EXECUTION OF TWO BROTHERS FOR MURDER
SAUDI ARABIA. MAN EXECUTED FOR PREMEDITATED KILLING
POLAND. EUROPEAN OFFICIALS WARN POLAND AGAINST INTRODUCING DEATH PENALTY
EGYPT. TWO GANG LEADERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAN. YOUNG MAN HANGED FOR RAPE
SAUDI ARABIA. TWO MEN EXECUTED FOR MURDER
IRAN. CONVICTED DRUG TRAFFICKER HANGED
MOLDOVA. CONSTITUTIONAL COURT APPROVES BILLS BANNING DEATH PENALTY
ALABAMA, USA. MAN EXECUTED FOR MURDER OF FAMILY OF THREE
SAUDI ARABIA. YEMENI, SAUDI EXECUTED FOR RAPE, KIDNAPPING AND THEFT
UZBEKISTAN. UZBEK REBELLION TRIAL STARTS AMID COVER-UP CHARGES
PAKISTAN. MAN HANGED FOR RAPE AND MURDER OF SEVEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL
VIETNAM. TWO DRUG TRAFFICKERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAN. FORCED TO FLEE COUNTRY, HE RISKED THE DEATH PENALTY FOR BEING GAY
INDIA. DEATH PENALTY FOR SWAMI SHRADDHANAND UPHELD
IRAN. CONVICTED ARMED ROBBER HANGED PUBLICLY
LIBERIA. ACCEDED TO SECOND PROTOCOL
IRAN. YOUTH HANGED IN CENTRAL IRAN PRISON
SAUDI ARABIA. TWO SAUDIS EXECUTED FOR MURDER
JAPAN. INMATE FIRST OF YEAR TO BE HANGED
IRAN. CONVICTED MURDERER HANGED
INDIA. EIGHT PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
INDONESIA. SECOND MILITANT GETS DEATH FOR JAKARTA EMBASSY BLAST

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IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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