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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…

Iraq: ISIS executes hundreds of Mosul area residents

Iraqi-led forces push toward Mosul, Iraq.
Iraqi-led forces push toward Mosul, Iraq.
(CNN) ISIS rounded up and killed 284 men and boys as Iraqi-led coalition forces closed in on Mosul, the terror group's last stronghold in Iraq, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN.

Those killed Thursday and Friday had been used as human shields against attacks forcing ISIS out of the southern sections of Mosul, the source said.

ISIS dumped the corpses in a mass grave at the defunct College of Agriculture in northern Mosul, the intelligence source said.

The victims -- some of them children -- were all shot, said the source, who asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. CNN could not independently confirm the killings.

UN 'gravely worried' over human shield use


The United Nations said Friday it is "gravely worried" that ISIS has taken 550 families from villages around Mosul for human shields as Iraqi and Kurdish forces battle the terror group for control of Iraq's second-largest city.

Two hundred families from Samalia village and 350 families from Najafia were forced out Monday and taken to Mosul in what appears to be "an apparent policy by ISIS to prevent civilians escaping," Ravina Shamdasani, deputy spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, told CNN.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said his office had evidence of several instances since Monday where ISIS forced civilians to leave outlying villages and head to Mosul. It also had received reports that civilians suspected of disloyalty had been shot dead.

Iraqi army and militia forces arrive Thursday in Saleh village in the offensive to wrest Mosul from ISIS.

"We are gravely worried by reports that (ISIS) is using civilians in and around Mosul as human shields as the Iraqi forces advance, keeping civilians close to their offices or places where fighters are located, which may result in civilian casualties," the UN official said.

"There is a grave danger that (ISIS) fighters will not only use such vulnerable people as human shields but may opt to kill them rather than see them liberated," he said.

His office is examining reports that ISIS shot dead at least 40 civilians in a village outside Mosul.
Any ISIS fighters who are captured or surrendered "should be held accountable in accordance with the law for any crimes they have committed," he said.

Source: CNN, October 22, 2016

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