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…

Saudi Arabia: Nepalese on death row pardoned

RIYADH: A Nepalese migrant worker on death row in the Eastern Province for killing a Pakistani national in Jubail five years ago has been pardoned by his victim’s family.

Nepalese Ambassador Udaya Raj Pandey on Monday praised the decision to forgive 31-year-old Umesh Yadav, who was convicted of killing co-worker Muhammed Wazir in a scuffle.

“Thanks to the Saudi officials and to officials of the Pakistani Embassy who extended all support to us to work out an amicable settlement,” he said.

“A reasonable amount of blood money will be paid to the victim's family.”

Yadav, who comes from a village in Nepal’s Dhanusha district, has his wife and two sons as well as his aging parents back home. He arrived in Jubail in 2006.

About 500,000 Nepalese work in the Kingdom.

Source: ArabNews, January 3, 2011

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