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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…

Tunisians handed death penalty for murdering policeman

Tunis (AFP) - Three Tunisians have been sentenced to death for murdering an unarmed young policeman as he returned home after his shift, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

A fourth man, who is on the run, was sentenced to 22 years in jail for "inciting and helping to commit terrorist crimes", in reference to the January murder.

The four were convicted Tuesday of cutting the throat of the 23-year-old policeman in El Fahs about 60 kilometres (37 miles) southwest of Tunis.

Following the murder, the interior ministry issued a directive allowing police officers to keep their weapons after their work day ended.

Aged 21 to 26, the three condemned to death were also given prison sentences of between 10 and 22 years for belonging to a terrorist group and incitement to commit terrorist crimes.

No further details were given on the circumstances of the murder, and it was not clear whether those convicted had been charged with belonging to any specific group.

Tunisia has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1991, and it was unclear how many years the convicts would serve.

The three were also ordered to pay 20,000 dinars (around 9,000 euros/$9,800) to their victim's parents and a total of 25,000 dinars to his five siblings.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of police and soldiers since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

This year alone, the Islamic State group claimed attacks on the national museum in Tunis and a popular resort hotel, killing a total of 59 tourists, and the suicide bombing of a bus carrying presidential guards, in which 12 of them died.

Source: Agence France-Presse, December 31, 2015

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