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…

Indonesia Prepares for Next Round of Executions

Jakarta. The bodies of the eight men killed by the firing squad on Wednesday have not all been buried yet, but already the Attorney General’s Office is preparing for another round of executions.

Tony Spontana, a spokesman for the AGO, said in Jakarta on Wednesday night that his office was “waiting for the evaluation” of the most recent round of executions before it could set a date for the next one.

The administration of President Joko Widodo has executed 14 people so far this year, 12 of them foreign nationals, and all convicted of drug offenses. The administration insists that the country faces some kind of “drug emergency,” although experts have repeatedly debunked the figures it cites for drug-related deaths.

The third round of executions, though, will not feature drug convicts, Tony said. Instead, the AGO has identified five convicted murderers who will be in the next batch to face the firing squad.

They include Tan Joni, also known as Aseng, who was convicted in 2006 of the murder of three people, one of them a 6-year-old girl; and Gunawan Santoso, convicted in 2003 for ordering a hit on his father-in-law and the latter’s bodyguard, an off-duty Special Forces officer.

The other three are Syofial, a.k.a. Iyen bin Azwar; Harun bin Ajis; and Sargawi, a.k.a. Ali bin Sanusi. They were convicted in 2000 of hacking to death seven members of an indigenous tribe in Merangin district in Sumatra’s Jambi province.

Tony said all five men had exhausted their avenues of appeal and would be the next to be put to death.

The announcement came hours after the AGO oversaw the execution of eight men, seven of them foreign nationals, on the prison island of Nusakambangan, off Central Java, in the early hours of Wednesday.

They were Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran; Rodrigo Gularte, a Brazilian diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia; Raheem Agbaje Salami, Martin Anderson, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise and Okwudili Oyatanze of Nigeria; and Indonesian national Zainal Abidin.

Source: The Jakarta Globe, Erwin Sihombing, Apr 30, 2015

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