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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…

27 Muslims on trial for apostasy in Sudan

Some 27 Sudanese Muslims are standing trial in a Khartoum court accused of apostasy, risking the death penalty if they are convicted, their lawyer told AFP on Thursday.

The men are accused of taking the Koran as the sole source of religious legitimacy and rejecting other Islamic texts.

"The court in Kalakla in south Khartoum has started the trial of 27 defendants brought before it under Article 126 of Sudanese criminal law, apostasy from Islam," defence lawyer Ahmed Ali Ahmed told AFP by telephone.

If convicted of apostasy, the defendants could face the death penalty under the Sharia Islamic law that has been in place in Sudan since 1983.

They are also charged with disturbing the public order, Ahmed said.

Ahmed said investigators told the court that police arrested 5 of the defendants on November 2 inside a market in the southern Khartoum neighbourhood of Mayo "when they were talking to people about their conviction in the belief in the Koran and how they don't recognise" other religious texts.

He said that the remainder were arrested the next day for the same reasons.

The defendants are accused of belonging to adheres strictly to the Koran and rejects the authority of the sunnah, traditions attributed to the Muslim Prophet Mohammed.

Both Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims rely on the sunnah as a source of Islamic law.

The trial of the 27 started last Sunday and went through four sessions during which the judge heard the investigators' case against the men before it adjourned on Wednesday.

It resumes on December 8.

Source: Agence France-Presse, December 3, 2015

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