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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…

Bali nine executions: Court throws out two more cases

Two more foreigners on death row in Indonesia have had their cases thrown out of court in a sign that the executions are imminent.

President Joko Widodo has warned that the execution of 10 drug felons, including Bali nine organisers Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, is "only a matter of time" pending the conclusion of their legal processes.

Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi told Fairfax Media on Tuesday the court had rejected requests for judicial reviews lodged by Frenchman Serge Atlaoui and Martin Anderson from Ghana.

Hope is fading for a further reprieve as Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo has repeatedly said it was the outcome of these two cases on which he was waiting before proceeding with the executions.

Atlaoui was arrested near Jakarta in 2005 in a secret laboratory producing ecstasy. He has always maintained he is innocent of drug charges and was simply installing equipment in what he thought was an acrylics factory.

His legal team has also argued it is incomprehensible why Atlaoui is facing the firing squad in the next round of executions when he was arrested with 17 others.

"Is it because he is a foreign national?" Atlaoui's lawyer, Nancy Yuliana, asked in the Jakarta Post.

Nigerian Raheem Agbaje Salami also had his case thrown out of the Administrative Court on Monday on the grounds the court did not have jurisdiction over clemency pleas.

Earlier this month the Supreme Court also rejected the request for a judicial review made by Filipina maid Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso.

She is the only one of the 10 felons in the next round of executions who is yet to be transferred to Nusakambagan, the remote site of the executions.

Controversially, [Attorney-General] Prastyo has also declared that Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte is fit for execution even though he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.


Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Jewel Topsfield, April 22, 2015

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