Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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…

Iran: Mother of executed woman pledges to fight for abolishment of death penalty

Rayhaneh Jabbari
Rayhaneh Jabbari
Mother of Rayhaneh Jabbari who hanged in October 2014 for defending herself against assault by a member of the Iranian regime's intelligence has pledged to fight for abolishment of death sentence in Iran.

In a letter published in news networks, Mrs Sholeh Pakravan, wrote: "It's now 2 years full of ups and downs since Rayhaneh was executed. Today, I hate the death penalty even more."

"2 years ago, I was totally focusing on preventing Rayhaneh from being executed. Today, however, I'm living with the hope for an Iran without the death sentence. I'm not afraid of anything for taking this path. I'm looking the demon 'death sentence' (Iranian regime) right in the eye, waiting for the right time to deliver it the final blow, so that all the gallows be relegated to the museums."

In a reference to children killed in Iran while playing by hanging themselves following watching public hangings in streets, she added: "instead of 'execution game', let our children play 'life game'.

"I understand every second the survivors of an execution go through. I understand the meaning of responsibility and I knowingly accept it."

She continues: "I can't stand to see the youth, like my own children, mourning the loss of their executed sisters or brothers. I can't stand to witness the tears shed by fathers and mothers for their executed children."

She concludes: "I can't stand to see a human struggling in mid-air .. and then the dead body be wrapped in a cover and sent to the cemetery. I shout with all my heart NO TO EXECUTION."

Source: NCR-Iran, October 10, 2016

International call to save the life of a 22-year-old woman from execution

The Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran urges all international human rights and women's rights organizations and agencies to take urgent action to save the life of Zeinab Sekanvan, a 22-year-old woman imprisoned in the Central Prison of Orumiyeh, who is in the danger of imminent execution.

Zeinab Sekanvand comes from a village near Makou (Western Azerbaijan Province, northwestern Iran). She was forced into marriage when she was 15 due to her family's poverty. After 2 years of painful life, she was arrested at age 17 on the charge of killing her husband.

After her 5 years imprisonment, on October 3, Zainab was notified of the dead penalty and since then she is on the death row.

Source: The Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, October 10, 2016

Iranian child bride spared execution for killing abusive husband because she was pregnant now faces being hanged after giving birth to a stillborn

Zeinab Sokian
Zeinab Sokian
An Iranian child bride could be hanged within weeks after she was sentenced to death for allegedly murdering her abusive husband.

However, Zeinab married another prisoner while in jail and fell pregnant, and as Iranian law prevents pregnant women from being executed her death sentence was delayed.

However, on September 30 she gave birth to a stillborn child in Euromieh central prison in northern Iran, meaning she could now be put to death within weeks.

Zeinab, who hails from a small village in northern Iran, was just 15 when she married her 1st husband.

Under Iranian law girls can marry at 13-years-old and boys at 15, although international human rights organisations say both parties in a marriage should be aged 18 or over.

During her trial, Zeinab claimed that her husband frequently beat and abused her, a source told Human Rights Watch. However, her claims were dismissed by the court.

The human rights organisation says that Zeinab was informed by authorities this week her execution could take place in the coming weeks.

Iran passed legal reforms in 2013, which give judges the discretion to spare children the death penalty if they do not understand the nature of their crime.

The law also entitles those sentenced to death prior to 2013 to a new trial - but only if they request it.

Human Right Watch is calling for all pre-2013 defendents to face a new trial.

'The 2013 reforms aimed to prevent wrongful conviction of children for capital offenses. If the Iranian government is serious about this goal, it should at a minimum grant everyone facing the death penalty for alleged offenses committed as children a new trial that conforms to international human rights standards,' the organisation said.

'This includes Zeinab, an alleged victim of domestic violence, who may otherwise imminently face the gallows.'

Source: Daily Mail, October 10, 2016

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