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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 pair told the date of their execution

Australian lawyer Julian McMahon with three self-portraits by Sukumaran: 
"The 72 hours just started", "Strange Day" and "Our new friends: A bad sleep
last night". Photo: Amilia Rosa
Jakarta: The end has come for the Bali nine organisers and others on death row in Indonesia who have been told they will be executed on Tuesday night.

On Sunday morning the family members and friends of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran made the grim journey across to Nusakambangan to visit the Australians.

Chan's fiancée Feby Herewila, brother Michael and mother Helen and long-term friend and supporter Senior Pastor Christie Buckingham all boarded the ferry.

Sukumaran's mother Raji, father Sam, brother Chinthu and sister Brintha also left to visit Sukumaran in his isolation cell on Besi prison.

They will be allowed to visit every day until the final hours when only a spiritual counsellor can be present.

Karim Utomo, a lawyer for one of the Nigerian prisoners facing the firing squad, said Andrew Chan was strong after being notified of his execution on Nusakambangan on Friday.

The lawyer did not see the reaction of Myuran Sukumaran. "Each convict on death row was called in one by one, for between 30 minutes to one hour, it varied," Mr Utomo said.

"My client (Nigerian Raheem Agbaje Salami) was notified of the day of the execution, it will be Tuesday night."

The Indonesian government has not yet officially announced the date of the execution. However the Indonesia Migrant Worker Network said Filipina maid Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso had also received a letter on Saturday informing her the execution would be on April 28.

"Both parents, older siblings and two of Mary Jane's children are in Cilacap," the network said. "They cried upon receiving the news. Mary Jane's father said he'll commit suicide if his daughter's shot."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was not too late for Indonesia to have a change of heart. "I again respectfully call on the President of Indonesia to reconsider his refusal to grant clemency," she said.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo will fly to Malaysia on Sunday to attend the ASEAN summit, which runs from April 26 to 28.

Evangelist preacher Matius Arif Mirdjaja, a former drug addict and prisoner in Bali's Kerobokan jail who was baptised by Chan, said Indonesia would be remembered as a nation that killed a pastor and an artist, not drug kingpins.

"History will write that we are a nation that killed all the repented, a nation that loses empathy and compassion for people who have transformed their lives and helped others," he said.

Their Australian lawyer Julian McMahon returned from Nusakambangan, where the men will be executed, with three self-portraits painted by Sukumaran. One painting, still wet and dated April 25, carried the haunting inscription: "The 72 hours just started." The second, dated April 24, was called "Strange Day". And the third, also dated April 25, said: "Our new friends: A bad sleep last night."


Source: The Age, Jewel Topsfield, April 26, 2015

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