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…

From today, gays caught having sex in Indonesia's Aceh province will be punished by 100 lashes

Public caning for committing immoral acts in Aceh, Indonesia
Public caning for committing immoral acts in Aceh, Indonesia
'The law is to safeguard human dignity'

LGBTI people caught having sex in Indonesia’s Aceh province will be punished by 100 lashes of the cane from today.

Anal sex between men and ‘the rubbing of body parts between women for stimulation’ is outlawed in the western province under a Sharia bylaw that came into force on Friday (23 October), and applies to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

‘The law is to safeguard human dignity. It is to protect Aceh’s Muslims from committing immoral acts,’ provincial Sharia chief Syahrizal Abbas told AFP.

Aceh is the only part of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country that is allowed to implement Sharia law.

The regulation was passed in 2014 and was decried by Human Rights Watch at the time as ‘a huge backward step.’

Just this month, two young women were arrested in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, for allegedly being a lesbian couple after they were seen sitting and hugging in a public space.

Gambling, drinking alcohol and fraternizing with the opposite sex outside of marriage are already punishable by public caning in the Aceh.

Canings are carried out with a thin rattan stick and can be substituted for a fine of up to 100 grams of gold or 100 months in jail.

Gay sex is not a crime in the rest of Indonesia.

Source: Gay Star News, Darren Wee, October 23, 2015

Related article:

Aceh to implement tougher law, punishments from Friday

Public caning for Sharia violators in Indonesia's Aceh Province
Public caning for Sharia violators in Indonesia's Aceh Province
The Aceh administration will start implementing a new, tougher Qanun Jinayat (Islamic criminal bylaw) on Friday, with wider scope and harsher punishments for violators, an official said on Thursday.

Syahrizal Abas, the head of the province’s Islamic sharia office, said the current bylaw was still lacking as it only regulated alcohol, gambling and unmarried couples being alone together.

"[The revised] Qanun Jinayat adds to the regulation regarding violations already in place," he said as quoted by kompas.com on Thursday.

The revised bylaw was passed by the Aceh Legislative Council (DPRA) in September last year. The Aceh government promoted the bylaw to the public over the past year and will now fully implementing it.

The new bylaw pertains to additional violations that include adultery, homosexuality, intimacy outside of marriage, accusing people of adultery without any witnesses, sexual harassment and rape.

The Qanun also stipulates harsher punishments – such as 100 lashes – for people proven in court to have engaged in adultery or homosexual acts.

Meanwhile, Banda Aceh deputy mayor Zainal Arifin said that the administration wanted to make improvements in many areas, including in Islamic sharia.

"The implementation of Islamic sharia must be aimed at supporting people to practice Islamic sharia in all aspects of their lives," he said.

Source: The Jakarta Post, October 23, 2015

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