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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…

Pakistan: Death Sentence Revoked One Day Ahead of Execution

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December 26, 2016: Ghulam Abbas Suhani had to be hanged on December 27 but the execution was stopped today, just one day ahead of the due date, as the elders of the area brought both the parties to the table and helped them settle to a reconciliation, reported Daily Dunya.

According to details, Saleem Suhani had murdered Ghulam Abbas Suhani’s elder brother Mohammad Ramzan. 

Saleem was jailed for this murder but when his brother Fauji Muhammad Esa went to DG Khan, Ramzan’s younger brother Ghulam Abbas murdered him inside the court. He also presented himself for arrest.

The court sentenced him to death. And the sentence was to be carried out on December 27 but the family members and elders of the community helped them reconcile.

Ghulam Abbas’s family paid Saleem’s family with Rs 16.5 million, which is equal to the price of 100 camels, according to Sharia.

Local MPA Javed Akhtar Lund, Chairman Rehan Khan Lund, Maulana Umar Mujahid and Mumtaz Sukhani played a critical role in the reconciliation. 

Sources: Daily Dunya, December 26, 2016


70-year-old death-row convict hanged in Rawalpindi; First execution in 3 months


December 24, 2016: A 70-year-old death-row convict was hanged in Rawalpindi’ Adiala jail after a span of 20 years.

The execution comes after a pause of almost three months and implementation of death penalties have resumed in jails across the country, an Adiala Jail official said.

According to jail administration, the convict Khan Iqbal had fled from the jail during Taliban’s attack on Bannu jail. He later returned to Gojar Khan and started working as a cobbler.

However; he was identified by slain Shakeel’s relatives after which he was arrested again on October 21, 2015.

A case was registered against Khan Iqbal on August 1, 1996 over the murder of Muhammad Shakeel. Trial court had sentenced him to death.

He was then shifted to Bannu jail on September 16, 2011 but ran away during Taliban’s attack on the prison on April 15, 2015.

His mercy appeal was also rejected by the President on December 13, 2016 after which his death warrants were issued.

Sources: Dunya News, The Express Tribune, December 25, 2016

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