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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…

Saudi court sentences two to death for killing army colonel

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Dubai: A Saudi court sentenced two men it said were Al Qaida followers to death on charges of decapitating a Saudi intelligence service colonel in 2007, local media reported on Tuesday.

The men attacked Colonel Nasser Al Othman at his farm near the city of Buraidah in northern Saudi Arabia, tied him up and severed his head because they viewed him as an apostate, online news website sabq.org said, citing the court ruling.

Between 2003 and 2006, Al Qaida carried out a campaign of attacks in the kingdom against Western and Saudi targets that killed hundreds of people.

Since stamping out the insurgency, Saudi Arabia has convicted and sentenced hundreds of people to prison or death for militancy. It executed dozens on January 2.

In Tuesday’s verdict, a third man was sentenced to 30 years in jail for attempting to kill the commander of emergency forces in Saudi Arabia’s northern Qassim region, Dubai-based Al Arabiya television channel said.

The court ruling, published by Al Arabiya on its website, did not identify the three convicted men.

A Justice Ministry spokesman confirmed the court verdict was an initial ruling which was subject to levels of appeal before it can be implemented.

Death sentences must be signed by the king before they are carried out.

Saudi Arabia says its justice system is fair and independent.

Since 2014 Daesh, like Al Qaida, has carried out attacks in the kingdom that have killed dozens and led to hundreds of arrests.

Source: Reuters, July 26, 2016

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