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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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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: first executions in five years

A Saudi death-row inmate smokes his last cigarette before his execution
in Kuwait on April 1, 2013.
Manama: Kuwaiti authorities on Monday morning executed three men sentenced to death in separate murder cases.

The Pakistani, Saudi and Bidoon (stateless resident) were executed in the Central Prison at 8am in the presence of the public prosecutor and delegates from the justice and interior ministries, Al Watan site reported.

Each of the three men was allowed a final visit by their families before they were kept separately in different rooms prior to the execution, it said.

The Saudi, identified by local daily Al Rai as Faisal Al Utaibi, was sentenced to die after he was found guilty of deliberately killing his friend while the Pakistani, Pervez Ghulam, was executed for strangling a couple to death.

The stateless resident, Dhaher Al Utaibi, was sentenced to death for killing his wife, son and daughter and attempting to kill another daughter. He reportedly claimed he was the Awaited Mahdi, the 12th Imam in Shiite belief, expected to emerge from hiding and appear at the world’s end to establish a reign of peace and righteousness.

News about the executions on Sunday triggered a wave of comments on the internet.

However, allegations that the executions would be carried out live on Kuwait Television were strongly denied by the information ministry.

Mohammad Al Duaij, the head of the executive prosecution, said that the executions were endorsed by the Emir last week after the court of cassation upheld the death sentence against each of the murderers.

“The April 1 date was selected by the public prosecutor,” he said, according to Al Rai.

He attributed the presence of journalists at the hanging to help deter the occurrence of crimes.

“There are around 48 people sentenced to the death penalty in Kuwait who have used up all their recourses. They are now on death row, but we are waiting for the endorsement of the Emir,” he said.

The last execution in Kuwait was carried out in May 2007.






Source: Gulf News, April 1, 2013


Additional photos of the execution (AFP):









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