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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…

URGENT - Shafqat is due to be hanged on Tuesday 9th June

Shafqat Hussain
Shafqat Hussain
Shafqat was a 14-year-old boy when he was sentenced to death. 

He was brutally tortured for 9 days, and eventually made a false confession to make the abuse stop. 

His death sentence violates Pakistani and international law.

The Pakistani authorities tried to execute him in January, but thousands of us took action together and succeeded in stopping it when he was just hours from being led to the gallows.

The Pakistani authorities are determined to kill Shafqat and have set another execution date of June 9th. 

They have covered up evidence that he was a child when he was sentenced to death, and ignored the brutal torture that resulted in his false confession.

Pakistan's president has the power to spare Shafqat's life. Ask him to call off the execution now.

More information

Shafqat’s death sentence caused international outrage when evidence was uncovered showing he was sentenced when he was a child, and that he was tortured into ‘confessing’ to carrying out a kidnap. The execution of children and torture are in violation of both Pakistani and international law.

Those who have raised concerns about Shafqat’s abuse have been accused of seeking to “undermine” Pakistan’s justice system and even threatened with criminal proceedings.

A Pakistani High Court judge said that the only inquiry into Shafqat’s age was “prima facie illegal.” It was conducted by the Federal Investigation Authority – an organisation which the Interior Minister admitted earlier this month requires a “clean-up operation…to weed out corrupt elements.”

Problems in Shafqat's case uncovered by Reprieve 
  1. The Pakistani High Court judge said that the inquiry into Shafqat’s age was “prima facie illegal.” 
  2. The Pakistani government has taken control of a number of key pieces of evidence, which it has since refused to either publish or share with Shafqat’s legal team. 
  3. We believe that Shafqat’s school record contains evidence that shows he was a child at the time of the alleged offence. It was taken from the school by FIA investigators who have since refused to publish or release it. 
  4. The FIA have withheld statements by a number of people interviewed during the inquiry. 
  5. Pakistan’s Minister for the Interior, Chaudhry Nisar, has admitted that the jail’s own doctor and the jail authorities had each recorded different ages for Shafqat. 
  6. No attempt has been made by the Pakistani government to investigate Shafqat’s torture. 
Take action

Source: Reprieve, June 4, 2015

NB: A similar Amnesty International online petition can be signed HERE.

Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com

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