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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 executes Pakistani for drug trafficking

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia

Saudi authorities executed a Pakistani man on Sunday for attempting to smuggle drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said. 

Up to 129 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, including the latest execution, compared with 87 for the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies. 

Mohammed Sharif was arrested while attempting to smuggle heroin into the country hidden in his stomach, the ministry said in a statement published on the SPA state news agency. 

He was executed in the Quwaiya district, near Riyadh. 

Most people sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded, but sometimes executions are carried out by firing squad. 

Amnesty International on Tuesday appealed for a moratorium on executions in Saudi Arabia, criticising the kingdom's "deeply flawed judicial system". 

Under Saudi Arabia's strict Islamic legal code, drug trafficking, murder, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death. 

Amnesty says Saudi Arabia is one of the world's most prolific executioners, along with China, Iran, Iraq and the United States. 

Source: Agence France-Presse, August 31, 2015


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