Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Kuwait: Panel finalizes blasphemy law

Execution in Kuwait
The Assembly’s legal and legislative committee (...) yesterday completed the final revision of a law that stipulates the death penalty for blasphemy, rapporteur of the panel MP Mohammad Al-Dallal said. The law was passed in the first round by the Assembly about three weeks ago and is intended to specifically punish those who insult God, prophets, wives of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and some of his companions. The Assembly is scheduled to hold a special session tomorrow to discuss the law and pass it in the second round despite stiff opposition from liberal and Shiite MPs.

Source: Kuwait Times, May 2, 2012

Blasphemy death up for 2nd read

The 2nd deliberation on Penal Code amendments pertaining to blasphemy will be held on Thursday. Amendments to Article 111 stipulate the death penalty as a punishment for publicly insulting God Almighty (Divine Entity) or the Messengers and Prophets or the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) or his wives.

Legal and Legislative Committee Rapporteur MP Mohammed Al-Dallal said the committee has finalized the final format of the amendments after considering the suggestions and observations of fellow lawmakers. He added the committee heard the Justice Ministry’s opinions as well as the Awqaf Ministry’s findings on the Islamic rulings in that regard.

The National Assembly had approved the amendments in its 1st deliberation April 12, with 46 MPs out of a 52-member quorum voting in its favor. Shiite MPs Hussein Al-Qallaf, Saleh Ashour, Abdulhamid Dashti and Adnan Al-Mutawa voted against the amendments, while Shiite MPs Ahmed Lari and Adnan Abdulsamad abstained.

On his part, MP Ahmed Lari forwarded his observations on the law, explaining Shiite (Ja’afari) scholars rulings in regards to blasphemy. He reiterated the amendments did not explain what constitutes blasphemy as scholars differ in their opinions.

Lari suggested the addition of certain constraints pertaining to the suspects’ intentions, age and soundness of mind at the time the crime is committed. He noted that the region and the country are currently facing sectarian tension and warned that “any error in drafting the law will increase the strife and is likely to reflect negatively on the image of Islam.”

Source: Arab Times, May 2, 2012 

Related articles:
Apr 17, 2012
A proposed legal amendment that would make blasphemy a crime punishable by death in Kuwait would be a massive step backwards by the country's authorities, if passed by parliament, Amnesty International said today.
Apr 12, 2012
Kuwaiti lawmakers voted in favour of a legal amendment on Thursday which could make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad punishable by death, after a case of suspected blasphemy on Twitter caused an uproar in...

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