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…

Tennessee may not have chemicals it needs for executions

Tennessee death chamber
NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Corrections will not say if it has the chemicals needed to execute inmates via lethal injection.

Attorneys for inmates challenging the state's protocol say the drugs are not on hand. And an opportunity for the attorneys to ask prison supervisors about the drug supply did not take place as planned Friday because of a canceled court hearing.

As an increasing number of national medical organizations oppose participation in the controversial executions, it could be a challenge for Tennessee to find the drugs it needs.

"It's certainly clear that it has become more difficult for states to find the drugs that their protocols say they are supposed to use," said Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes the death penalty. "What the response to that will be is unclear."

Drug supply

Attorneys for Tennessee and attorneys for more than 30 death-row inmates — who are challenging the state's lethal injection and electrocution procedures — had planned to gather in front of Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman on Friday.

The inmates and their attorneys say the state's protocols are unconstitutional and violate protections from cruel and unusual punishment.

The state filed a motion for a Friday hearing, asking Bonnyman to stop any court proceedings related to electrocutions. That issue is pending before the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Attorneys for the inmates used it as a chance to file documents suggesting the state is unable to carry out lethal injection executions.

The Tennessee Department of Corrections has said it is confident it will be able to carry out executions, but when previously asked by The Tennessean, did not say whether the lethal-injection drugs were on hand.

Source: USA Today, March 29, 2015

Food for thought...

TENNESSEE: 'Time to reconsider the death penalty'
Last week, Utah's governor signed into law a bill allowing the use of the firing squad for executions.
Welcome to the Wild, Wild West, y'all.

What spurred them to do this?

It seems that the drug manufacturers in Europe won't sell the drugs if they know they will be used to kill people.

This is Utah's way of continuing the ridiculousness that is state killing.

In just a few days, Christians will celebrate Good Friday, when Christ himself was a victim of state killing, the one who stopped a woman from execution, the one who said forgive, not just 1 time, but 70 times 7, and love your enemies.

Yet so many Christians forget the message of their God, the message of compassion and love. Besides, most studies show it is more expensive to execute people than to have them imprisoned for life.

Fiscal conservatives, take note! Instead of killing people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong, states like Utah and Tennessee should invest that money in preventing violent crimes in the first place by spending that wasted money on things like law enforcement, education, mental health and mentoring for at-risk youth.

This would be a much better use of our tax dollars and would promote the common good instead of revenge.

Brent Fernandez, Nashville
Source: Letter to the Editor, The Tennessean, March 30, 2015

Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com

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