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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…

Bangladesh war crimes: 3 get death penalty, 5 jailed for life

The verdict came as the prosecution accused all the 8 of 5 charges relating to crimes like mass murders, abductions, tortures and looting.

3 Islamists were handed down death penalty while 5 others jailed until death by a special tribunal in Bangladesh for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war with Pakistan.

A 3-member panel of judges of Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICT-BD) led by Justice Anwarul Haque pronounced the judgement as 2 of the convicts appeared on the dock while 6 others were tried in absentia as they were on the run to evade justice.

The verdict came as the prosecution accused all the eight of five charges relating to crimes like mass murders, abductions, tortures and lootings.

Prosecution lawyers said 6 of the convicts were members of infamous Al-badr auxiliary force of the Pakistani troops during the war and carried out atrocities in northern Jamalpur district.

The 2 others belonged to Razakar, another Bengali-manned armed group raised by Pakistanis during the war.

Manned by activists of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, which was opposed to Bangladesh's 1971 independence from Pakistan, the Al-Badr appeared as an extremely notorious force by carrying out ruthless atrocities siding with Pakistani troops.

The verdict came amid a nationwide tension following the recent 2 back-to-back Islamist terror attacks in the country following which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hinted that Jamaat could be behind the assaults.

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 Hasina in 2008.

Source: indianexpress.com, July 18, 2016


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