Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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…

Huge blow to Chan's Bali 9 clemency bid

Andrew Chan
The Bali 9's Andrew Chan has been dealt a massive blow with Indonesia's National Narcotics Board believed to have recommended that his death sentence should be upheld.

A senior source involved in considering Chan's clemency application has told AAP that the narcotics board's decision was also in line with the recommendation of a Supreme Court judge.

Both the narcotics board and Supreme Court Justice Salman Luthan were asked by the office of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to provide a recommendation on Chan's clemency request.

"For Andrew Chan ... the goods involved so many kilos, right? It's difficult when it comes to this," he told AAP.

"So, we're just following what's requested to us and what's been recommended, that it's a 'no.'"

Justice Salman completed his recommendation in relation to Chan's clemency bid more than a month ago. It has been forwarded to the president's office.

..."Our recommendation for it is no, as which is the recommendation of Supreme Court as well," the source told AAP.

Chan was sentenced to death in 2005 for his role in a plot to smuggle 8 kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia.

The latest development is also a worrying sign Myuran Sukumaran, 31, who along with Chan, filed for clemency early last year.

They are the only 2 members of the Bali 9 still on death row.

Dr Yudhoyono does not have to accept the recommendations, and is likely to also seek advice from officials at Kerobokan jail as well as the Justice Ministry.

In October last year, he granted clemency to Indonesian Merika Pranola, who was also convicted of drug smuggling despite the Supreme Court having recommended she be executed.

The advice from the judge and narcotics board emerged on Tuesday and comes after Indonesia earlier this month carried out its 1st execution since 2008.

Adami Wilson, from Malawi, was shot by firing squad in the Thousand Islands, an archipelago popular with tourists located off the coast of the capital Jakarta.

The 48-year-old was caught in 2003 attempting to smuggle 1 kilogram of heroin into Indonesia.

A spokesman for the Indonesian human rights group, the Commission for the Missing and Victims of Violence (Kontras), has described the execution of Adami as a worrying sign.

Haris Azhar said that while political factors and Indonesia's relationship with Australia would be considered when it comes to Sukumaran and Chan, there also seemed to be a groundswell of public opinion in favour of the death penalty.

There seemed to be "a big applause" when Adami was executed, Mr Haris said recently.

"This is a signal that people support it."

Indonesia has said another nine convicts would be executed this year.

However, Sukumaran and Chan are not on that list.

Source: AAP, March 26, 2013

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