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…

Oklahoma Death Row Inmate Released On Technicality

A death row inmate in Oklahoma, 50-year-old David Magnan - who admitted to intentionally killing 2 women, a man, and injuring another - has been granted a release on a court's order due to a technicality.

Magnan pled guilty in Seminole County District Court to 3 counts of 1st-degree murder and 1 count of shooting with intent to kill on March 3, 2004. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection.

But Magnan's conviction was overturned Friday by the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals after it was determined the triple homicide had taken place on an Indian reservation - official Native American land where the state technically has no authority or jurisdiction.

Only federal and tribal laws have prosecutorial authority on reservation territory - providing a legal loophole in this case.

Therefore, Magnan, a member the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes, was removed from death row at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, where he'd been for nearly 10 years.

The judgment came with the presumption that federal authorities will intercede and re-arrest and prosecute Magnan, given the homicidal nature of the crimes and admitted guilt in the triple murder and wounding of other members of the Seminole Nation.

If he is ever tried federally though, it's likely Magnan will not face the death penalty as it is rarely imposed in federal courts.

The killings occurred in 2004 inside an inherited Seminole residence, where family and friends had gathered to celebrate a birthday. Magnan drove to the home with 2 other men, where he shot and injured Eric Coley who'd come outside to speak to him.

Court records state Magnan then entered the house, noticed James Howard, said "goodbye," and shot him.

Karen Wolf and Lucilla McGirt were also shot. Lucilla died from complications stemming from her gunshot wound 2 weeks later.

Source: The Inquisitr, June 17, 2013

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