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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…

Mauritania: Muslim clerics urge for blogger's death penalty to be applied

Muslim clerics in Mauritania on Sunday urged the authorities to execute a blogger who was sentenced to death in 2014 for apostasy after writing a blog post on Islam and racial discrimination.

Mohamed Ould Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir's article touched a nerve in Mauritania, a West African country with deep social and racial divisions. 

He was tried for apostasy and received the death penalty despite having repented and saying his article was misunderstood.

According to the U.S.-based Freedom Now rights group who provide Mkhaitir with legal counsel, the blog post appears to have been the 1st he published. 

Prior to his arrest he worked as an engineer for a mining company and was not an activist, Freedom Now said on its website.

Mauritania has not applied a death penalty since 1987 but on Sunday, the influential Forum of Imams and Ulemas issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, calling for Mkhaitir to be killed.

It condemned "Mkhaitir and his heresy, recalling that the legal penalty in his case is death, with no exception made for his repentance," according to a statement.

"We demand that the competent authorities apply the law: kill him and bury him in conformity with the law of God."

Rights groups like Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have campaigned for Mkhaitir's pardon and release.

Source: Reuters, November 13, 2016

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