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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…

Cameroon: Death penalty for 89 Boko Haram militants

Boko Haram militants
Boko Haram militants
Military magistrate: Judgment not subject to appeal

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (CNN) —A military court in Cameroon this week sentenced 89 Boko Haram insurgents to death for their roles in terror attacks in the country's Far North Region.

The judgment handed down Wednesday marks the most extreme implementation of a controversial anti-terrorism law promulgated by President Paul Biya in December 2014. It prescribes the death penalty for "any activity which can lead to a general revolt of the population or disturb the normal functioning of the country" and for "anyone who supplies arms, war equipment, bacteria and viruses with the intention of killing."

The death penalty also applies for people found guilty of kidnapping with terrorist intent, as well as for "anyone who directly or indirectly finances acts of terrorism" and for "anyone who recruits citizens with the aim of carrying out acts of terrorism."

The law also punishes people and companies found guilty of promoting terrorism, as well as people who give false testimony to administrative and judicial authorities in matters of terrorism, with various fines and prison terms.

A military magistrate who would not be named told CNN that "the judgment was not subject to appeal."

The 89 condemned insurgents were among nearly 1,000 who were convicted by the military court.

Recently, Chad executed 10 Boko Haram members convicted of acts of terrorism.

Fear of retaliation

Security experts already are expressing fears that executions intended to deter terrorists will cause violent retaliation instead.

The International Business Times quoted David Otto, CEO of UK-based global security provider TGS Intelligence Consultants, David Otto, as saying that Boko Haram will "surely react" by expanding its violence farther south in Cameroon.

"The government has no clue on the potential martyrdom effects this will create," Otto said. "One must be reminded that no amount of punishment frightens a man who is not afraid of death."

Boko Haram aims to institute Sharia, or Islamic law. It has killed at least 20,000 people since its insurgency began in Nigeria in 2009 and spread to neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Source: wmur.com, March 19, 2016

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