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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 top in death penalty executions in Asia, Bangladesh 2nd

At least 130 executions were carried out in 11 Asian countries in 2016. The vast majority of them were executed in Pakistan. However there is no data available about executions in China, still believed to be by far the world's top executioner.

Overall the number of executions has decreased in the Asia pacific region due to a significant reduction in Pakistan. 

The total number of executions in the region fell from 367 in 2015 to 239 in 2016.

Although the number of executions in Pakistan has decreased from 326 in 2015 to 87 in 2016, it still tops the list of the countries with highest number of executions in the Asian region. 

The range of those executed varied from prisoners tried by military courts to those suspected of undertaking terrorist activities.

Bangladesh executed 10 people in 2016. 8 out of the 10 were convicted of murder while 2 were tried by International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) for the war crimes committed in 1971.

With secrecy around death penalties slightly lifted, Malaysia has seen an increase in the executions with 9 in 2016, compared to 6 in 2014 and 1 in 2015.

In Afghanistan where almost 600 people were under sentence of death by the end of the year, in 2016, 8 people were executed related to terrorist activities.

Indonesia executed 4 people in the year 2016, 3 of them foreigners and 1 Indonesian. All 4 men were convicted of drug related offenses.

2 men who were executed had their clemency applications pending for a review when the executions were undertaken.

Singapore carried 4 executions in 2016 for murder and drug trafficking. 2 of the 4 executed were Malaysian nationals and 1 was Nigerian. The country has also issued new restrictive guidelines for reviewing the death sentences of those convicted.

Japan executed 3 people in 2016, 2 men and 1 woman. The country's Federation of Bar Association has called on the authorities to abolish the death penalty by the year 2020.

Taiwan executed 1 person within 3 weeks after his sentence was finalised.

Source: The Daily Star, April 30, 2017

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