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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…

Kuwait: Seven sentenced to death over rape of handicapped boy

Execution in Kuwait in April 2013
Execution in Kuwait in April 2013
Victim, 13, was abducted, taken to rented chalet and filmed during rape

Manama: Kuwait’s Court of Appeals has sentenced seven defendants to death by hanging for kidnapping a 13-year-old mentally-retarded boy and raping him, overturning a ten-year jail sentence by a lower court.

The defendants, aged between 18 and 23, abducted the boy, beat him, threatened to kill him and took him to a chalet they had rented in the southern part of the country where they raped him.

Defendants used their mobiles to record the rape, Kuwaiti daily Al Anba reported on Thursday.

A report in Kuwait said that the victim was in the custody of his sister as their parents were abroad for medical treatment when the abduction and rape occurred.

The Criminal Court in April had sentenced the four Kuwaitis, one Iraqi, one Yemeni and one stateless person to 10 years in jail for abducting and raping the victim.

The court also ordered the confiscation of their mobile phones.

Challenge


However, both the defendants and the public prosecution challenged the verdict and the case was referred to the Court of Appeals that issued its ruling on Wednesday.

The case will now be referred to the Court of Cassation, the highest court in the country for a final ruling that cannot be challenged.

Executions are rare in Kuwait, but in January seven convicts — two Kuwaitis, two Egyptians, a Bangladeshi, a Filipina and an Ethiopian — were executed after they were found guilty in cases of premeditated murder, rape or theft.

The seven were hanged in application of the verdicts pronounced by courts and upheld by the Court of Appeals and the Court of Cassation and endorsed by the Emir.

They were the first to be executed since 2013.

Source: Gulf News, June 1, 2017

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