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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 hangs 2 brothers for murdering 6 people

The execution comes just days after Amnesty International called out Pakistan for being the world's 3rd most prolific executioner

Pakistan on Saturday, April 9, hanged two brothers convicted of murdering 6 people from the same family, just days after Amnesty International criticized the country for becoming the world's 3rd most prolific executioner after China and Iran.

Nasir Mehmood and Tahir Iqbal were hanged in a jail in the eastern Pakistani city of Sialkot early Saturday for the 2002 murders, senior prison official Chaudhry Arshad Saeed Arain told AFP.

The hanged men killed 6 members of a family over a land dispute, jail officials said. No further details were available.

A 6-year moratorium on the death penalty was lifted in Pakistan after Taliban attackers gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014.

Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but in March they were extended to all capital offences.

Executions in the Muslim-majority nation have helped fuel an increase worldwide, Amnesty International said in a report this week, with at least 1,634 people put to death globally in 2015, the highest figure recorded since 1989.

"Over the past year, Pakistan has vaulted to the number 3 spot for recorded state executions in the world - a shameful position no one should aspire to," Champa Patel, director of Amnesty's South Asia office, told AFP.

Pakistan executed 326 people last year, Patel said.

The overwhelming majority of those hanged since Pakistan fully restored the death penalty in March 2015 had no links to terrorism, said Sarah Belal, director of the Justice Project Pakistan, which advocates the abolition of hanging and represents death row convicts.

Source: rappler.com, April 8, 2016

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