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

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…


March 24, 2008: Islamic militants in Indonesia facing death over the 2002 Bali bombings are one step closer to the firing squad after a last-ditch appeal was dropped, reports said.

"The case was withdrawn by the ones that requested it and the prosecutors did not object, this means it is over. There are no further courts (of appeal)," the head of the panel of judges hearing the case Ida Bagus Putu Madeg was quoted as saying by news website Detikcom.

A lawyer for the bombers, Fachmi Bachmid, told AFP he withdrew from the judicial review at the Denpasar district court because a request to bring his three clients, Amrozi, Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudra, to appear in person at the appeal had been rejected by the court.

"The rights of our clients have been amputated. It is clearly stated in the letter from the Supreme Court that my clients and the prosecutors need to be present (in court for the appeal)," Bachmid said.

The review is the last avenue to stop the executions of the three short of an unlikely clemency from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Sources: Khaleej Times, 24/03/2008

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