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…

43 Executions in 3 Days: One Juvenile and One Public Execution Among Wednesday’s Six Executions

Onlookers watching a public execution in Iran (file photo)
At least 43 prisoners have been executed during the last three days in Iran. A juvenile offender with serious mental illness was among the five who were executed in Karaj on Wednesday. Reports indicate that more mass-executions might take place in Karaj the coming weeks. Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly calls on the international community to immediately react.

Iran Human Rights, April 14, 2015: One man was hanged publicly in the city of Shiraz (southern Iran) Wednesday morning April 15, reported the Iranian state media. The man who was identified as “Rashid D” (35 year old) was convicted of Moharebeh (waging war against God) for armed robbery, said the report.

According to IHR’s sources five prisoners were hanged in the Rajaishahr prison of Karaj (west of Tehran) early Wednesday morning April 15. All of the five prisoners were convicted of murder. One of the prisoners, identified as Javad Saberi, was reportedly sentenced to death for a murder he had committed when he was under 18 years of age. Javad Saberi had a serious mental illness and had stayed at “Amin Abad” mental hospital, according to these sources. The other prisoners were Farzad Zanjaninejad, Morteza Saber, and two men who were not identified by name. One of the men was an Afghan citizen.

Execution of Morteza Saber was announced by the state media while the other four executions have not been officially announced yet.

In addition to Wednesday’s executions, 37 prisoners have been executed in the Rajaishahr and Ghezelhesar prisons of Karaj on Monday and Tuesday 13. and 14. April. All these prisoners were convicted of drug-related charges. Reports indicate that more mass-executions might take place in these prisons in the coming weeks.

Iran Human Rights strongly condemns the wave of execution by the Iranian authorities and calls on the international community to react. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said: “Lack of condemnation by the international community sends the wrong signal to the Iranian authorities. The world’s must not shut its eyes on the Iranian authorities’ on going mass-executions”.

26 executions in Rajaishahr prison: 17 prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement on Saturday April 11. They were hanged two days later, on Monday April 13. They were all sentenced to death for drug-related charges. All of them had been transferred from Ghezelhesar prison following a prison riot last year. Nine other prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday April 12 and executed on Tuesday April 14. All the prisoners were convicted of drug-related charges. Four of the prisoners are identified as: Sajjad Mokhberi, Ali Khandani, Rahim Najafi and Reza Ghorbani.

11 executions in Ghezelhesar prison: The prisoners were from ward 2 of Ghezelhesar prison and were all arrested in connection to drug related charges in Shahriar (a county in Tehran). Two of the prisoners were identified as:Bayat Zahmatkesh and Masoum Ali Miri.

Official Iranian media have announced execution of eight of the prisoners.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 16, 2015

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