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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…

Aceh's sharia law provokes over-criminalization of LGBT people, vulnerable groups: ICJR

Medieval and barbaric: Public caning in Indonesia's Aceh province
Medieval and barbaric: Public caning in Indonesia's Aceh province
The Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) has lambasted the Aceh administration’s Islamic criminal code bylaw, or Qanun Jinayat, saying it could potentially provoke discrimination and over-criminalization of LGBT communities and other vulnerable groups.

Qanun Jinayat imposes criminal sanctions on both Muslims and non-Muslims found to have consumed liquor, dated in public or carried out same-sex relations, among other things.

“The state has gone too far by interfering on the private affairs of its citizens and making their personal matters a public affair. This will eventually lead to discrimination and injustice against vulnerable groups, including LGBT [lesbian,gay,bisexual,transgender] communities,” ICJR said on Friday.

Aceh Public Order Agency (Satpol PP), or Wilatul Hisbah, personnel arrested on Tuesday two male students identified as MT, 23, and MH, 21. The students, who lived in a boarding house in Banda Aceh, were suspected of being involved in a same-sex relationship.

The two students were taken to the Wilatul Hisbah office for questioning. 

They were accused of violating Article 63 (1) of the 2014 Qanun Jinayat, which states those found to be carrying out same-sex relations will face a maximum sentence of 100 lashes or pay a maximum fine of 1,000 grams of pure gold or face 100-month imprisonment.

The ICJR says it regrets the impact of the implementation of Qanun Jinayat in Aceh. This case will increase the stigma against LGBT people in the province, it further says.

“It has intervened the rights and privacy of citizens. The LGBT community in Aceh will continue to be the target of arrests taking place in their private space.”

Source: The Jakarta Post, April 1, 2017

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