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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…

Egypt: Mohamed Morsi death sentence overturned

Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi
Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi
Deposed Egyptian president no longer faces threat of execution but continues to serve long jail terms

An Egyptian court has overturned a death sentence against the deposed president Mohamed Morsi, and ordered a retrial.

The Muslim Brotherhood leader was sentenced to death in June 2015 in connection with a mass jail break during Egypt’s 2011 uprising.

The first president to be democratically elected after the revolution, Morsi was overthrown in mid-2013 by general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during mass protests against his rule, and immediately arrested.

Tuesday’s ruling by the court of cassation means Morsi is no longer under threat of execution, although he is serving three long jail sentences. 

He was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole on charges arising from the killing of protesters in December 2012; 40 years on charges of spying for Qatar; and a life sentence on charges of spying for the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Sisi has tried to crush the Brotherhood, which he says is part of a terrorist network that poses an existential threat to the Arab and western worlds. 

The Brotherhood, Egypt’s oldest political movement, says its activities are entirely peaceful and denies using violent methods.

Sources: The Guardian, Reuters, November 15, 2016

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