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Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Singapore: Will the president pardon Yong Vui Kong?

Yong Vui Kong
Sabahan Yong Vui Kong's fate will now be determined by the newly elected president who is a devout Christian.

Malaysian drug dealer Yong Vui Kong whose race against time to save his life turned him into something of a cause celebre amidst a very animated media circus, has had his final appeal against his death penalty for drug smuggling dismissed yesterday in Singapore’s Court of Criminal Appeal.

Yong’s fate now rests in the hands of President Tony Tan Keng Yam who as a devout Christian will now have the thankless task of deciding whether to grant clemency to the young, impressionable Yong, who according to media reports and court documents was hoodwinked and weaselled into smuggling the dangerous substance across to Singapore.

The clemency appeal, if it arrives at the president’s desk will make for an interesting twist of conflicting philosophies and convictions.

For one, it will pit the newly inaugurated president’s religious beliefs of forswearing the killing of fellow humans through the often heard Christian precept of thou shall not kill, against his constitutional duties and the demands of high office.

It will also perhaps be the president’s first instance of deliberating over a pardon for a capital offender. Executions in Singapore are usually carried out some two weeks after the president rejects a pardon petition.

Sometime earlier this year, Tony Tan’s predecessor, SR Nathan at a press conference expressed what appeared to be as tinges of remorse when recounting the times he declined the clemency petitions of death row inmates.

Not a single death row inmate under the former president’s watch had been ever spared the gallows.


Source: FreeMalaysiaToday, April 5, 2012

Related article:

Click HERE to sign an online petition urging Singapore's President to commute Yong's sentence.

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