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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…

India: President Pranab Mukherjee rejects mercy petitions of three more death-row convicts, taking his tally of rejections to 37

President Pranab Mukherjee
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
President Pranab Mukherjee rejected on August 7 mercy petitions from three death-row convicts, Shabnam, Jasvir Singh and Vikram Singh. 

The information about these rejections was uploaded on the website of the President’s secretariat only today. 

While Shabnam’s mercy petition was received in President’s Secretariat from the Ministry of Home Affairs, on March 31, those of Jasvir Singh and Vikram Singh were received on June 23. 

Shabnam, along with her husband, Salim were co-accused in a murder case, that was tried against them on the allegations that they had committed murders of seven persons who were the members of Shabnam’s family during 14-15 April, 2008. 

Their death sentences were confirmed by the Supreme Court on May 15, 2015. 

Shabnam is lodged in Moradabad jail, while Salim is in Agra jail. Their only child, delivered by Shabnam in jail, has been given in adoption. 

Jasvir Singh and Vikram Singh, now in Patiala Central jail, were convicted and sentenced to death, for the murder of 16-year-old school boy, Abhi Verma, in 2005. 

The Supreme Court commuted Jasvir Singh’s wife, Sonia’s sentence to life term in the same case in January 2010. 

In August last year, a three-member Bench headed by Justice TS Thakur dismissed their appeal, challenging the validity of Section 364A of the IPC, that provides for death penalty for the crime of kidnapping someone for ransom.

Source: Live Law, August 14, 2016.

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