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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 Arabia: Ethiopian woman executed for murder

Public beheading by the sword in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public beheading by the sword in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Sunday executed an Ethiopian for killing a Saudi woman while she was praying.

“Jinat Damti Farid, an Ethiopian woman, was executed in Taif Governorate in the Makkah region today for killing Ghaliah Bint Eidha Bin Saeed Al Harthi, a Saudi woman, by striking her with an axe on her head and back several times while she was praying, then taking two gold rings from her hand, and cash,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

“The General Court convicted the murderer, and the sentence was endorsed by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. A royal order was issued to execute the sentence,” the ministry said.

The statement added that the Saudi government was fully committed to upholding security, ensuring justice and carrying out the orders against anyone who attacked innocent people and shed blood.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, where the interior ministry says the death penalty is a deterrent to crime.

Amnesty says Saudi Arabia had the world's 3rd-highest number of executions last year, after China and Iran.

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

Source: Gulf News, AFP, January 10, 2016

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