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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…

Australian man Michael Sacatides jailed for 18 years in Indonesia

Australian man Michael Sacatides has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being found guilty of smuggling 1.7kg of methamphetamine into Bali.

The panel of judges presiding over the case in the Denpasar District Court today found the 43-year-old guilty, while also increasing the sentence by 2 years compared to a request entered by prosecutors 2 weeks ago.

He had initially been facing the possibility of a death sentence for smuggling $A390,000 worth of methamphetamine, also known as ice, into Bali from Thailand.

Sacatides was arrested at Bali's international airport on October 1 last year when customs officers noticed the drugs concealed in a hidden compartment in the suitcase he was carrying when he arrived on a flight from Bangkok.

The kickboxing trainer from Sydney's west has always maintained his innocence, telling investigators at the time of his arrest that he had borrowed the luggage from a man known as Akaleshi Tripathi, whom he knew from Bangkok, where he had been living and working for almost 2 years.

Tripathi, alias Peter, has never been found.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, April 25, 2011
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