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…

Nusa Kambangan: 9 death row prisoners will be executed tonight after midnight, Jakarta time

Indonesian President Joko Widodo
President Widodo
Fairfax Media’s Indonesian correspondent, Jewel Topsfield, has filed a report saying there’s no indication Indonesian President Joko Widodo will make a last minute show of mercy.

It now looks almost certain that death row prisoners imprisoned on Indonesia’s Nusa Kambangan Island will face the firing squad tonight.

They are Rodrigo Gularte, from Brazil; Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso, from the Philippines; Martin Anderson (aka Belo), Raheem Agbaje Salami, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze, from Nigeria; Zainal Abidin bin Mgs Mahmud Badarudin, from Indonesia; and Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, from Australia.

Here’s what we know:
  • Indonesian Attorney-General H.M. Prasetyo has confirmed that the executions of nine death row inmates on Nusa Kambangan Island, including Australians Chan and Sukumaran and Filipina woman Veloso, will go ahead tonight.
  • Sukumaran’s mother, Raji, told reporters at Cilacap on Tuesday afternoon that her son would be killed “at midnight.” That accords with suggestions from the Indonesian Government, but Prasetyo has refused to name a time.
  • The families of Chan and Sukumaran have made heartfelt pleas to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare their loved ones lives and calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, with Michael Chan describing leaving his brother for the last time as “torture”.
  • Christie Buckingham and David Soper, the nominated spiritual counsellors of Sukumaran and Chan, arrived at Nusa Kambangan Island about 8pm local time, along with other spiritual advisors like Romo Carolus, a local priest who is known to attend death row prisoners. Ambulances carrying coffins arrived earlier on Tuesday.
  • Veloso’s execution appears likely to go ahead despite an appeal by Philippine President Benigno Aquino, who said she was a vital witness in a pending drug trafficking trial. Veloso’s lawyers have long maintained she acted as an unknowing mule to drug smugglers when she was arrested with 2kg heroin in 2010 and Maria Cristina Sergio, the woman who allegedly recruited her, reportedly handed herself into Philippine authorities on Tuesday.
  • Laywers for Brazillian man Rodrigo Gularte have filed a last-minute appeal, saying he was denied procedural fairness in his clemency application.
  • French prisoner Serge Areski Atlaoui has been given a temporary reprieve.
  • The European Union and Australian and French governments have issued a joint plea urging President Widodo to “forgive” the death row prisoners and supporting the UN Secretary General’s statement, where he asked Indonesia to “urgently consider declaring a moratorium on the death penalty in Indonesia.”
  • Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, has said there would be “consequences” for Indonesia if the executions go ahead, but she said, “I fear that this execution will proceed.”

UPDATE (15:54 GMT): Indonesian attorney-general confirms executions tonight

Indonesia’s attorney-general says the executions of the nine prisoners will take place tonight after midnight, Jakarta time (3am AEST, 6pm BST).

Source: The Guardian, live coverage, April 28, 2015 (15:36 GMT)

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

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Nevada law says chief medical officer must advise on executions despite ethical clash

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Iran: Three Hand Amputations, Four Hangings Carried Out in Qom

Iran: Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported From Norway

Poorly executed - Indiana inmate challenges state's lethal cocktail change

Iran: Three executions carried out, two in front of large crowds

Two Myanmar migrants make final appeal in Koh Tao murder case

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Arkansas death-row inmate tries to drop appeal blocking execution; request denied

"I cannot execute convicted murderers," Tanzania's president declares