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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 expects verdict on French death row convict in 2 weeks

Serge Atlaoui
Serge Atlaoui
JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian judge said on Wednesday a court will decide in two weeks whether to proceed with a last-ditch appeal by a French death row inmate who is challenging the president's refusal to grant him clemency.

Convicted drug trafficker Serge Atlaoui was due to face the firing squad with other convicts last month but was granted a last-minute reprieve to allow for the completion of his legal appeals.

France's foreign minister has warned Indonesia it would face repercussions if the Southeast Asian nation goes ahead with the execution.

The Jakarta administrative court would hold another hearing on the case next Wednesday, with a verdict expected on May 28, said Judge Ujang Abdullah.

The Attorney General's Office has said Atlaoui's current legal challenge would be his last appeal.

Atlaoui was sentenced to death for his involvement in an ecstasy factory in Jakarta that was capable of producing 100 kg (220 lb) of the illegal pills per week.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has rejected pleas for clemency from various foreign nationals who are among a group of around 60 drug convicts scheduled for execution. Fourteen have been executed so far this year.

Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year lull.

Source: Reuters, May 13, 2015

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