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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…

Nigeria: Oshiomhole Frees Two Prisoners Condemned to Death

Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has granted amnesty to 2 prisoners condemned to death in exercise of his prerogative of mercy.

The governor said the prisoners, Monday Odu, who was sentenced to death for conspiracy and murder, and Calistus Ikem, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery, were granted amnesty because they did not take the lives of their victims.

He also commuted to life imprisonment the sentence of death penalty for 2 others: Tijani Mustapha, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery; and Zubem Abduramma, convicted for conspiracy and armed robbery; while Patrick Ojiefo, who was convicted for assault on a police officer while discharging his lawful duty and served 6-months jail term in 1973, was granted pardon.

Speaking after granting amnesty to Odu and Ikem, Oshiomhole said: "You have been condemned to death for murder but we have exercised the prerogative of mercy to release you from prison for the offence believing you have learnt your lesson. You can still be useful to society and useful to yourself."

While addressing Odu, 32, and a minor when he was convicted in 1997, the governor said, "We are letting you off the hook to go and sin no more. We will find a way to find a job for you under the Edo Youth Employment Scheme. You have no reason to return to crime and that means if you do anything again you are completely on your own."

He told Ikem, 52, and convicted in 1996, to be ready to work and cope with the rigours of life as he returned to his family in Imo State.

"You stole house hold items which could have taken your life. The government will give you N200,000 and another N100, 000 to Monday Odu to go and start all over. I hope you will be able to make something positive out of this your present condition," Oshiomhole added.

The Comptroller of Prisons in Edo State, Mr. Ewuho Jimoh, who led the prisoners to Government House, said he was presenting the 2 inmates who had been granted amnesty in compliance with a letter granting them pardon to the governor.

Source: The Vanguard, October 21, 2012

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