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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…

Pakistani court frees Islamic preacher sentenced to death for blasphemy

"Laws used to settle personal scores or grudges"
"Laws used to settle personal scores or grudges"
ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani court freed an Islamic preacher who was sentenced to death four years ago on charges of blasphemy, a defense lawyer said Tuesday.

Chaudhry Mehmood Akhtar said that a judge in the city of Rawalpindi acquitted Mohammad Ishaq on Friday after finding him "completely innocent" of insulting Islam.

Ishaq was custodian at a shrine in Punjab province when he was arrested and sentenced to death in 2013 after a citizen accused him of claiming in conversation to actually be God.

"My client is a practicing Muslim and he was a victim of false charges. Now I am doing the paperwork to get him out of a jail," Akhtar told The Associated Press.

Under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or religious personalities can be sentenced to death. 

However the laws are also sometimes used to settle personal scores or grudges.

Human rights groups have called for amending Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, which are often misused against the country's minority Christian community. 

In 2015, a Muslim mob beat a Christian couple to death and burned their bodies for allegedly desecrating the Quran.

Source: The Associated Press, February 28, 2017

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