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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…

Pakistan: Death penalty awarded to 2 brothers; facilitators aiding terrorists to get death penalty

Additional Sessions Judge Amjad Nazeer Chaudhary on Saturday sentenced two brothers he convicted of murder to death. 

Prosecution said Azam and his brother Arif had shot dead Ajmal Amir over a property dispute in Khurarianwala. 

After examining the evidence and hearing the witnesses, judge sentenced them to death and ordered them to pay Rs100,000 compensation to heirs of the deceased.

In Bahawalpur, Additional Sessions Judge Muhammad Yaqoob on Saturday awarded death sentence to a man he convicted of murder.

Prosecution said Umar Farooq, a resident of Chak 208-RB, and his father Muhammad Arshad and uncle Abdul Ghaffar had shot dead Gulzar, a resident of the same neighbourhood, after an argument.

After examining the evidence and hearing the witnesses, the judge sentenced Farooq to death under Section 302-B of the Pakistan Penal Code. 

The convict was also directed to pay Rs100,000 compensation to heirs of the deceased.

The court acquitted Arshad and Abdul Ghaffar, giving them the benefit of doubt.

Source: Express Tribune, January 23, 2016


Pakistan Death penalty: EU urges moratorium revival

The European Union continues to engage with Pakistan in an effort to convince it to reinstitute its moratorium on the death penalty. 

EU Ambassador to Pakistan Jean Francois Cautain has said that the EU is of the view that the death penalty is not a deterrent and may conversely be a factor which increases hatred for the state. 

He was speaking to The Express Tribune at the Dean of European Diplomatic Corps Emilian Ion, Ambassador of Romania's farewell to outgoing ambassadors of Argentina, the UK, Sweden, Bangladesh and Japan. 

He said that despite terrorist incidents in Europe there was no possibility that death penalty may be considered in Europe referring to the recent terrorist incidents in France.

Source: Express Tribune, January 23, 2016


Rule Of Law: 'Facilitators to get death penalty'

Senior lawyer Salim Shah Hoti on Saturday said that 'facilitators' found aiding terrorists in terror attacks, are liable to be punished with the death penalty according to the law of the land. 

He added that those arrested by security forces for their involvement in the Bacha Khan University carnage will be dealt with accordingly. 

The interior ministry, he said, would send their cases to military courts for trial as the same law was applicable to them. 

He stated that military courts were set up after the passage of the 21st Amendment in January 2015 to adjudicate upon terror-related cases. 

PM Nawaz had abolished the moratorium on death penalty in terrorism-related cases soon after assuming office.

Source: Express Tribune, January 23, 2016

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