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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…

KSA: Saudi prince executed for murder

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed a member of the royal family for murder, in a rare case involving one of the thousands of members of the House of Saud.

Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir was put to death in the capital Riyadh for shooting dead Adel al-Mahemid, a Saudi, during a brawl, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Kabir was the 134th local or foreigner put to death this year, according to an AFP tally of ministry statements.

The Arab News reported in November 2014 that a court in Riyadh sentenced an unnamed prince to death for killing his friend.

He lost his life and another person was injured in an exchange of gunfire following a dispute at a camp on the edge of Riyadh in December 2012, the newspaper said.

Desert camps are popular gathering places for Saudis.

When the killer realised that his victim was a friend and colleague, he informed the police, the Arab News said.

The sentence reflected the kingdom s "fair justice system," Arab News quoted the victim's uncle Abdul Rahman al-Falaj as saying.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Amnesty International says the kingdom carried out at least 158 death sentences in 2015, making it the third most prolific executioner after Iran and Pakistan.

Amnesty's figures do not include secretive China.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for "terrorism" on a single day in January.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom but the government says the death penalty is a deterrent.

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Source: Agence France-Presse, October 18, 2016

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