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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…

UAE: Arsonist saved from execution after victims' relatives accept 'blood money'

An Asian man convicted of murdering his aunt and her husband in Abu Dhabi was saved from execution after the victims’ relatives accepted diya (blood money) and pardoned him, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

The defendant was sentenced to death by a court of first instance after he was found guilty of locking his aunt and her husband in their room in the capital and setting the house on fire.

An appeals court upheld the capital punishment, prompting the defendant to appeal with the court of cassation, which also sentenced him to death on charges of premeditated murder.

After waiting nearly four years in jail for the sentenced to be executed, a court with a new panel of judges dropped the verdict after receiving a letter from the victims’ relatives pardoning the defendant.

Court records showed the unnamed defendant decided to get rid of the couple after they rebuked him for a sharp decline in the revenue of a workshop they own in the capital just after they returned from a long holiday in their home country.

Source: Agence France-Presse, April 2, 2015

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