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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…

Egypt: 22-year-old executed for raping, killing child; rapist of 2-year-old handed death penalty

Egyptian authorities execute man convicted of raping and murdering 5-year-old girl in Minya governorate

Egyptian prison authorities executed Wednesday a 22-year-old man convicted of raping and murdering a 5-year-old girl in Upper Egypt's Minya governorate in March 2014.

Investigations in the case revealed that the convict kidnapped the girl, before taking her to an abandoned building in Maghaha village and raping her. He choked her with a cloth and repeatedly hit her in the head.

The convict's death verdict was upheld by the Court of Cassation in February 2016.

The Minya governorate prisons department also executed Wednesday 5 people convicted of murder in Qena and Gharbeya governorates under tight security measures.

On Tuesday, an Egyptian criminal court referred to the Grand Mufti a death sentence issued against a man convicted of raping a 20-month-old child in the Nile Delta governorate of Daqahliya last month in a case known publicly known as "the diaper girl's case."

The court is expected to confirm the sentence on 2 June after the Grand Mufti gives his opinion, which is not legally binding, on the validity of the death sentence according to Islamic law.

The most famous case of the rape and murder of a child happened in the coastal governorate of Port-Said in 2013, when 2 minors kidnapped, raped and killed 5-year-old girl Zeina Arafa, provoking rage and public outcry across the country.

The convicts in this case were sentenced by a criminal court to 20 years in prison. The court apologised to the public for not imposing capital punishment, as Egyptian law forbids issuing the death penalty to people younger than 18 years old.

Rapist of 2-Year-Old Girl Handed Death Penalty


An Egyptian Criminal Court gave a 35-year-old man, who had raped a baby girl in March, a death sentence, referring the case to Dar al-Iftaa.

The final verdict is to be issued on June 2.

Being the survivor's neighbour, the rapist narrated how he took her as she was playing in front of her house in Dakahlia governorate into an uninhabited room, removed her diaper before he raped her, and ran away when he found her bleeding. The 20-month-old girl was transferred to a hospital to get a reconstructive surgery due to major damages in her vagina.

"My daughter can't utter the words mama and papa yet and all of this has happened to her. My heart is burning and there's nothing I can do for her," the mother of the raped child said, according to Egypt Independent.

The deputy of Egypt's al-Azhar, the largest Muslim beacon had called for anyone found guilty of molesting child to receive the death penalty, he told state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.

In Egypt, all capital punishment sentences are referred to Dar al-Iftaa, a religious body giving rulings to the masses and consultation for the judiciary.

Sources: ahram.org.eg, gyptianstreets.com, May 3, 2017

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