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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…

Bangladeshi Supreme Court Rejects Appeals Of 2 Senior Leaders Convicted Of War Crimes, Upholds Death Sentence

Bangladesh Supreme Court
Bangladesh's Supreme Court Wednesday rejected appeals of 2 senior opposition leaders convicted of war crimes during the country's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan. The court also upheld the death sentences given to the 2 leaders.

Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of Jamaat-e-Islami were convicted in 2013 by a war crimes tribunal on charges related to rape, torture and genocide.

"There are no legal hurdles to execute the war criminals now," Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, according to Indo-Asian News Service agency.

Authorities stepped up security in capital Dhaka and other parts of the country after the apex court's announcement, according to local media. Jamaat-e-Islami called a shutdown Thursday to protest the court's decision, according to the Associated Press. 

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority said in a statement that it blocked social media sites including Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp indefinitely to cease any propaganda that might lead to violence in the country, the AP reported.

Chowdhury and Mujahid can seek presidential mercy. "It is up to them whether they want to seek mercy or not," defense counsel Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said, according to Reuters.

In October 2013, the country's International Crimes Tribunal sentenced the 66-year-old BNP leader to death for 9 of 23 charges, including 4 counts of genocide. Chowdhury was found guilty of killing 200 civilians, mostly Hindus, in Chittagong. At the time, his party maintained that the trial was politically motivated. It is estimated that nearly 3 million people were killed in the 9-month Bangladesh Liberation War that ended in December 1971. Over 15 people, mostly Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, were convicted of war crimes by 2 separate tribunals set up by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2010.

Source: ibtimes.com, November 18, 2015

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