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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…

UAE: Father of Pakistani victim pardons Indian youth convicted for murder

Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals
Abu Dhabi Court of Appeals
Abu Dhabi: Ten young Indians in Al Ain jail can hope to escape a death sentence as the family of a Pakistani man, who was allegedly murdered by them, has agreed to pardon the convicts.

The father of Mohammad Farhan [the victim] appeared in the Al Ain appeals court on Wednesday and submitted a letter of consent to pardon the accused Indians, a senior Indian Embassy official told Gulf News on Sunday.

On behalf of the accused, an Indian charity organisation deposited the blood money in the court and the case has been adjourned for further hearing on April 12, said Dinesh Kumar, Counsellor, Community Affairs at the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

“It is expected that the court may commute the death sentence,” he said.

As Gulf News reported on December 8, 2016, the murder allegedly occurred during a brawl over bootlegging in Al Ain in December 2015. 

Eleven men from the Indian state of Punjab were convicted in the case but one was spared the death sentence.

S.P.S Oberoi, Chairman of Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust that donated blood money for the accused men, told Gulf News that it was a tough task to obtain pardon from the Pakistani family. “For me, it is easy to give money, but tough to convince the victim’s family to pardon the accused,” said Oberoi, a Dubai-based businessman.

He said his Pakistani manager travelled to Peshawar and talked to the family and their relatives to secure the pardon. The father of the victim finally said he did not want ten other Indian families to face the same tragic fate. “He [father] told me, there was no solution to his family’s pain. Why does he want to inflict the same pain to ten Indian families [if their sons face death punishment],” Oberoi said.

All the convicted young Indian men are from poor families and worked in Al Ain as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and masons. Most of them in their twenties had paid huge sums to recruitment agents in India to secure a visa to reach the UAE.

Source: Gulf News, March 26, 2017

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