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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…

Singapore: 2 convicted drug traffickers escape gallows, imprisoned for life

Changi prison, where executions are carried out in Singapore.
Changi prison, where executions are carried out in Singapore.
April 20, 2015: Two convicted drug traffickers were spared the gallows today, four years after being sentenced to death.

Cheong Chun Yin, 31, and Pang Siew Fum, 60, both Malaysians, were sentenced to life imprisonment for trafficking 2.7 kg of heroin to Singapore on June 16, 2008. They were convicted in 2010.

Cheong was also given 15 strokes of the cane — the minimum prescribed by the Misuse of Drugs Act.

High Court judge Choo Han Teck said he was satisfied that Cheong’s involvement in the act was that of a courier. Justice Choo also noted that the prosecution had tendered documents certifying Cheong had “substantively assisted” the Central Narcotics Bureau in disrupting drug trafficking activities outside Singapore.

The Misuse of Drugs Act was amended together with the Penal Code in 2012 to remove the mandatory death penalty for certain types of homicide and drug trafficking offences, in a move to “temper justice with mercy”.

Apart from meeting the condition of having only played the role of a courier, a drug trafficker must either have cooperated with the Central Narcotics Bureau in a substantive way or have a mental disability that substantially impairs his appreciation of the gravity of the act.

In Pang’s case, Justice Choo was persuaded that she was suffering from mental abnormalities during the time of the offence. 

Sources: todayonline.com, April 20, 2015

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