FEATURED POST

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

Image
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…

Somalia executes three suspected militants by firing squad

Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu
Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad
on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu (Photo: AP)
(Reuters) - Three men were executed by firing squad on Sunday after a Somali military court found them guilty of killing civilians in a series of recent attacks in the country blamed on al Shabaab Islamist militants.

The men were hooded and tied to poles with their hands behind their backs in a field in the capital Mogadishu, where a crowd gathered to watch the execution.

"Anyone who kills a person or a militant who kills people and is arrested will also be taken to court and executed," Abdirahman Turyare, the chairman of the military court told reporters at the scene.

He said two of the men had pleaded guilty to charges of killing, while the third was accused of facilitating an attack on July 8 by driving the attackers into the presidential palace.

Al Shabaab could not be reached for comment.

Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu
Three Al Shabaab members were executed by firing squad
on August 3, 2014 near Mogadishu (Photo: AP)
The executions were part of a crackdown in which suspected al Shabaab members have been tried by military courts since 2011.

Somalia's government is struggling to impose order more than two decades after the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre tipped the country into chaos.

Frequent militant attacks show that a surge by African Union peacekeeping troops has not weakened al Shabaab's capacity to wage asymmetric warfare in the capital, where coordination between Somali and foreign intelligence agencies is poor.

Critics say international human rights standards largely prohibit trials of civilians before military courts.

Source: Reuters, August 4, 2014

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: Just two votes away from death penalty repeal

Lindsay Sandiford, 62, on Bali death row for 6 years, 'just wants to die'

Oklahoma 'getting closer' to acquiring device necessary to carry out executions

Indonesian court sentences French drug smuggler to death

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

Florida: Death penalty opponents call on DeSantis to stop execution

Japan: Death sentence finalized for man over 2015 murder of 2 children

Nashville attorney: Donnie Johnson's execution gives “more evidence” of lethal injection problems

Tennessee: Death row inmate dies 1 day after fellow inmate's execution

Malaysian drug mule due to hang in Singapore gets last-minute stay of execution