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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…

Saudi beheads 80th person this year

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday [May 12, 2015] carried out its 80th beheading of the year, edging closer to the 87 executions it carried out during all of 2014, according to AFP tallies.

The interior ministry said a Saudi citizen, Rabie al-Sai'ari, had been convicted of trying to smuggle hashish into the kingdom.

He was executed in Najran, a district on the border with Yemen, a ministry statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said.

The ministry has cited deterrence as a reason for its use of the death penalty despite criticism from human rights watchdogs.

Amnesty International ranked Saudi Arabia among the world's top three executioners of 2014.

On a visit to Riyadh this month, French President Francois Hollande said that capital punishment "should be banned", and his country is campaigning around the world for its abolition.

Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy, homosexuality and armed robbery are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Source: Agence France-Presse, May 12, 2015

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