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Did Texas execute an innocent man? Film revisits a haunting question.

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Texans will have an opportunity to revisit a question that should haunt anyone who believes in the integrity of our criminal justice system: Did our state execute an innocent man? 
The new film “Trial by Fire” tells the true story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was sentenced to death for setting a fire to his home in Corsicana that killed his three young daughters in 1991. The film is based on an investigative story by David Grann that appeared in the New Yorker in 2009, five years after Willingham was executed over his vociferous protestations of innocence.
In my experience of serving 8 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and 4 years as a state district judge in Travis County, the Willingham case stands out to me for many of the same reasons it stood out to filmmaker Edward Zwick, who calls it a veritable catalogue of everything that’s wrong with the criminal justice system and, especially, the death penalty. False testimony, junk science, a jailhouse informant, and ineffe…

Iran: Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Arrested

Nasrin Sotoudeh
Iran Human Rights, June 13, 2018: Prominent lawyer and human rights defender, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested at her home on Wednesday, June 13. She was previously imprisoned for her professional and HR activities. 

Nasrin's husband, Reza Khandan, confirmed the arrest on his Facebook page. 

During the past years, Mrs.Sotoudeh represented many Iranian activists in the courts. Recently, she represented Girls of Revolution Street, who took off their hijab in public to protest compulsory hijab.

A couple of days ago, in an interview with IHR's legal magazine, HoghogheMa, Nasrin Sotoudeh spoke out against state-approved list of lawyers and said that the Judiciary’s approach is political and this way “political prisoners are surrounded only by people who are loyal to the regime”.

She explained, “Some of those [pro-regime] people act as plaintiffs because in these cases the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards are mostly the plaintiffs. Some others are judges or interrogators who issue verdicts at Evin’s court. They are usually forced to issue verdicts by Ministry of Intelligence agents. And now based on Article 48, we have “state lawyers”. Those lawyers are so prejudiced and determined to bolster the regime that they cannot defend political defendants properly”.

She advised political defendants, “Do not accept the state-approved lawyers at all.”

Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns this arrest and demands her immediate and unconditional release. The spokesperson and director of IHR, Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam, said, “Iran is probably one of the few countries where defense lawyers are persecuted for doing their job”. He added, “We ask the world community to play a more active role in defending the Iranian human rights lawyers and to ask for immediate release of the detained lawyers and end persecuting them."

Source: Iran Human Rights, June 13, 2018


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