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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: Man facing death penalty acquitted after 8 years

ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday acquitted a man, who was awarded death sentence by a trial and a high court in a murder case, after eight years in prison.

Abdul Baqi was convicted in the killing case of Muhammad Ali in Balochistan in 2009. 

The trial court on the basis of a medical report and witnesses’ statements had awarded him the death sentence. 

Later, the Balochistan High Court upheld Baqi’s death sentence. 

The convict had challenged high court verdict in the Supreme Court.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and the defence counsel acquitted Abdul Baqi and set aside the BHC verdict.

The bench observed that there was a contradiction between the medical report and the statements of the prosecution witnesses. 

Justice Khosa said that in the charge-sheet it was written that an axe was recovered from the accused, but later it was added that a ‘blood soaked axe’ was recovered.

The court observed that the prosecution has failed to prove its case and ordered to release Baqi.

Source: The Nation, March 31, 2017

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