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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…

Indonesian court commutes death sentences of 2 Iranian drug traffickers

In what may be a glimmer of hope for the Bali Nine ringleaders, two Iranians convicted of drug offences in Indonesia have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment on appeal.

Mustofa Moradalivand and Sayed Hashem were sentenced to death by Bandung district court in West Java in January after they were caught in February 2014 trying to pick up a delivery of 40 kilos of methamphetamine.

Slamet Pribadi, a spokesman for the National Narcotics Agency, said he regretted the new sentences at a time when the Indonesian government is taking a tough stance by executing drug offenders on death row.

"We didn't want to intervene with the judicial process, but we expected the appeal of this case would corroborate the initial court verdict," Pribadi was quoted as saying by news website detik.com.

Along with Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, a Brazilian, a Nigerian, a Ghanaian, a French national and a Filipino are all set to be executed for drug convictions following a first batch of executions by Indonesia in January.

Source: AAP, April 21, 2015 (local time)

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