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…

EU condemns execution of Bangladeshi Islamic leader

Mohammad Kamaruzzaman
Mohammad Kamaruzzaman
The European Union has condemned the recent execution of a senior Bangladeshi politician.

When asked about the execution of Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Jamaat-e-Islami party's senior leader, European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels Monday: "(EU) continues to call all the countries that still use the death penalty to follow first the moratorium of full abolition of this punishment. In this respect we are, of course, condemning the use of this practice."

Kamaruzzaman, the Assistant General Secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami, was executed Saturday after choosing not to seek a presidential pardon.

His execution sparked criticism from the international community, including Amnesty International and the United Nations.

Amnesty International's Bangladesh expert Abbas Faiz said: "We are concerned that Bangladesh continues to use the death penalty, including for those found guilty of war crimes in Bangladesh.

"We believe that it undermines human dignity and there is no evidence that it works as a deterrent, which is why we are calling for a global abolition."

Kamaruzzaman was the 2nd person executed for war crimes after another leading Jamaat-e-Islami figure, Abdul Quader Molla, was hanged in December 2013.

The party's leader Motiur Rahman Nizami was also sentenced to death in November, as was another leading senior official, Mir Quasem Ali.

"The European Union calls on Bangladeshi authorities to commute all death sentences and to introduce a moratorium on executions as a first step towards definitive abolition of capital punishment," the 28-nation bloc had said in a statement on April 9.

Source: World Bulletin, April 13, 2015

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