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: a Baluchi cultural and civil rights activist executed

Ya’qoub Mehrnehad, a Baluchi cultural and civil rights activist, was executed on 4 August after his death sentence was approved by Iran’s prosecutor-general.

Ya’qoub Mehrnehad was sentenced to death in February 2008 after an unfair trial. Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi, confirmed the sentence at a press conference on 19 February and stated that Ya’qoub Mehrnehad had been sentenced to death for “contacts with the Jondallah group”, and that the sentence was open to appeal before the Supreme Court.

Zahedan’s Public and Revolution Prosecutor Office had announced that Ya’qoub Mehrnehad was considered to be a member of Jondallah, also known as the Iranian Peoples’ Resistance Movement, and aiding Abdolmalek Rigi, the head of a Baluchi armed group. They were then charged with mohareb (enmity with God), and mofsed fi’l arz (corruption on earth).

Ya’qoub Mehrnehad’s arrest, in May 2007, is believed to have been in connection to his work as a journalist and his activities as head of a registered NGO, The Voice of Justice Young People’s Society, which organizes events and educational courses for young Baluchi people and raises funds to help the poor.

In a meeting with his family Ya’qoub Mehrnehad said, “I am not guilty and this has happened unjustly and if I am executed, people will know that I have been executed without [having committed] a crime.”

Source: Amnesty International

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