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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 executes 5 Kurds, among them a young woman sentenced as a teenager

Public hanging of a female prisoner, Iran (file photo)
5 Iranian Kurds (Rojhilatis) were executed on Tuesday, among them a young woman who was handed the sentence as a teenager 2 years after her marriage, a rights group reported.

"The Iranian authorities must urgently halt their plans to execute Zeinab Sekaanvand," Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, pleaded on Monday after the announcement of the regime’s plan was made.

Luther highlighted "she was arrested when she was just 17 years old and sentenced to death for the murder of her husband, whom she married at the age of 15."

"Not only was she a child at the time of the crime, she was subjected to a grossly unfair legal process."

Along with Sekaanvand, 4 other Kurds were executed in Urmia Prison according to Hengaw, a group writing on human rights issues involving Kurds in Iran.

Hengaw did not go into the details on the cases of the other detainees, only releasing the names of three: Changeez Irani, Mousa Jajilou, and Salman Alilou.

According to Amnesty International, among the 23 countries that carried out death sentences in 2017, "Iran executed at least 507 people." At least 31 of those executions were public, and 5 of those executed were under 18 years old. These numbers account for more than 1/2 of all recorded executions in 2017.

From March through September, Iran has hanged over 40 Iranian Kurds and sentenced just under a dozen other activists to death, Hengaw added.

Other recent cases that garnered international attention were that of Ramin Hussein Panahi and 2 cousins Loghman and Zaniar Moradi who were executed on Sep. 08.

Source: kurdistan24.net, October 2, 2018


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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