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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…

Somalia's al Shabaab executes 5 men accused of spying

(File photo) Al-Shabaab militants executed by firing squad by Somali authorities
Somalia's al Shabaab Islamists on Tuesday shot 5 men in a public execution, including a Somali British citizen accused of spying, a sign of the insurgents' control of southern swathes of the country, even as authorities step up efforts to combat them.

Al Shabaab's grip on the Horn of Africa nation has been weakening since it was pushed out of the capital by African Union peacekeepers in 2011, but the government and the U.S. military are beefing up an offensive against it.

"5 of them were publicly shot to death this afternoon after they admitted espionage before the court," said Mohamed Abu Abdalla, al Shabaab's governor for the Jubba regions.

"Awale Ahmed Mohamed, 32 spied for MI6 and he came from Britain to Somalia to establish Islamic State," he told Reuters late on Tuesday.

3 of the men spied for the United States and helped guide drones to carry out strikes in Somalia, while a 4th spied for the Somali government, he added.

The government did not return telephone calls from Reuters to seek comment.

The U.S. drones often carry out strikes against the Somali militants, with the U.S. military saying it killed 1 militant in an air strike in southern Somalia over the weekend.

Al Shabaab is trying to overthrow Somalia's weak, U.N.-backed government and impose a strict form of Islamic law.

The country has been torn apart by civil war since 1991, when clan warlords overthrew a dictator before turning on each other.

Source: Reuters, October 10, 2018


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

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