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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…

Bundesbank Limits China Cooperation on Death Penalty

Germany's Bundesbank said it will exclude Chinese and Vietnamese central bank officials from anti- counterfeiting seminars over concerns about the countries' use of the death penalty for serious cases of forgery.

"The Bundesbank wants to make sure it doesn't give advice on the subject of counterfeiting to countries that impose the death penalty for money forgery," a spokesman for the Frankfurt-based central bank said today, adding that this is currently the case "in at least 2 countries, China and Vietnam."

The Bundesbank will stop inviting officials from the 2 countries' central banks to its seminars on "cash management and combating counterfeit money," it said. It will continue to cooperate on other subjects, from monetary policy to banking supervision.

The move comes after German weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported earlier today that the Bundesbank was supporting Chinese officials in combating forgery and that at least 1 person in the South Chinese province of Hunan has been sentenced to death for counterfeiting.

The Bundesbank said on Jan. 17 it had shelved an anti-counterfeiting venture with the Central Bank of Bangladesh over concerns the country planned to impose the death penalty for serious cases of forgery. Bangladesh's central bank said the next day it would drop the plans.

The Bundesbank is currently examining if countries other than China and Vietnam are imposing the death penalty for forgery, the spokesman said. It has not yet made a decision on whether it will restart the anti-counterfeiting venture with Bangladesh.

Source: Business Week, January 27, 2013

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