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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…

Kenya: Mechanic sentenced to death for robbing woman 3 phones worth Sh21,000

Kenya court in session (file photo)
Kenya court in session (file photo)
A 22-year-old mechanic was on Monday sentenced to death by a Kibera court for robbing a woman at her house in Kaberia, Riruta.

Sospeter Simiyu was found guilty of the offence committed on November 14, 2014, and will therefore be hanged.

Together with another man who was not in court, he robbed Zipporah Wangui of her 3 mobiles valued at Sh21,000.

Principal magistrate Barbara Ojoo said the prosecution had proven beyond doubt that Simiyu robbed the victim.

Police said he cut the victim on her left hand using a machete, causing her to sustain serious injuries.

Ojoo said that Wangui narrated to the court how the accused had entered the house at 3 am and robbed her.

She told the court that she was sleeping at the time Simiyu and his accomplice stormed her house.

"They took the 3 phones and cut my left hand," Wangui earlier told the court.

In mitigation, Simiyu asked the court to be lenient to him, adding that he was remorseful.

Ojoo, in her ruling, said the seriousness of the offence warrants a death sentence by hanging.

Robbery with violence is punishable by death in the Kenyan penal code.

The law states that a person is guilty of robbery if he or she uses or threatens to use violence while stealing.

However, there is a debate on the relevance of death penalty since the last person was executed in 1987.

Source: the-star.co.ke, March 7, 2017

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