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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…

4 Bangladesh war crimes convicts get death sentences

Bangladesh
A special tribunal in Bangladesh today handed down death penalty to 4 men for committing war crimes during the 1971 Liberation War by siding with Pakistani troops as the court directed authorities to seek help from Interpol in nabbing 3 of them who are on the run.

Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICT-BD) in the capital also awarded "imprisonment until death" to a fifth war criminal for carrying out atrocities in northern Kishorganj.

The 5 were found responsible for abductions, torture and killings to help Pakistan to abort Bangladesh's birth in 1971.

All the convicts were former members of Razakar Bahini, a Bengali-manned auxiliary force of the Pakistan army in 1971.

7 charges were brought against them including mass killing, murder, confinement, torture, arson and looting committed in their locality in 1971. Gazi Abdul Mannan, 88, said to be a commander of Razakar camp, Nasiruddin Ahmed, 62, his brother Shamsuddin Ahmed, 60, and Hafiz Uddin, 66, have been given death, while Azharul Islam, 60, has been given imprisonment until death.

Only one of them, Shamsuddin, faced the trial in person while the rest, including a former Bengali captain of the Pakistani force, were tried in absentia.

Witnesses said the 3-member special tribunal led by Justice Anwarul Haque sentenced one of the fugitives the imprisonment until death.

The court, in its 330-page verdict summary, ordered their immediate arrest and directed authorities to seek help from Interpol if necessary.

The verdict came as Bangladesh Supreme Court said it will pronounce the final verdict on May 5 on the death sentence it handed down to chief of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, Motiur Rahman Nizami, deciding his fate over crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

Bangladesh has so far executed 4 war crimes convicts since the process began to try the top Bengali perpetrators of 1971 atrocities in line with the electoral commitment of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 2008.

2 others have earlier been handed down "imprisonment until death" penalty instead of capital punishment on grounds of their old age as they exceeded 80.

They subsequently died in the prison cells of a specialised state-run hospital due to old age ailments.

Source: Press Trust of India, May 3, 2016

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