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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…

First ever death penalty for blasphemy on social media in Pakistan

BAHWALPUR – An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Saturday sentenced a man to death for sharing offensive content about Islam on social media, in a first ever penalty over online blasphemy.

Bahawalpur’s ATC Judge Shabir Ahmed announced the sentence for the 30-year-old accused, who belongs to the Shia community, the Dawn reported.

The accused, who hails from Lahore, had allegedly posted derogatory content about prominent Sunni religious figures and wives of the Holy Prophet Muhammad on Facebook.

He was arrested last year from Bahawalpur by the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).

Pakistan is cracking down against blasphemy related crimes on social media with the Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar threatening to block all social media websites with ‘blasphemous content’ earlier this year.

This is the harshest sentences among other cyber-crime related punishments handed down so far in the country.

Blasphemy has been a contentious issue in the country where people have been murdered over allegations of blasphemy. 

Earlier this year, a mob in Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan beat up a student, Mashal Khan, to death after accusing him of blasphemy over social media.

Under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or other religious personalities can be sentenced to death.

Source: Daily Pakistan, Dawood Rehman, June 10, 2017

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