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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…

Archbishop of Canterbury is latest to be approached for support by Lindsay Sandiford

Kerobokan prison, Bali, Indonesia
Kerobokan prison, Bali, Indonesia
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the latest high profile figure to be approached for help by a Redcar gran on death row in Bali.

Lindsay Sandiford, who lived in Redcar, is in a Bali prison waiting death by firing squad for drug smuggling.

Supporters on a website campaigning to raise funds for the legal battle to fight her sentence have already written to comedian turned social activist Russell Brand and billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson after both spoke out against the execution of her fellow prisoners, known as the Bali Nine.

Now a letter to Ms Sandiford, reportedly from the office of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, has appeared on the campaign’s Facebook page.

The letter, signed by Kay Brock, the chief of staff to the Archbishop, said that at the Archbishop’s request she had been in touch with the Embassy in Jakarta, through the Consulate in Bali, to ask for their help and support.

The letter continues: “The Archbishop has made and continues to make his opposition to the death penalty known on every appropriate occasion, but unfortunately the number of cases makes it impossible to take on individual ones.”

Ms Sandiford, 58, is now the last prisoner on death row on the island’s Kerobokan jail after the other inmates were executed last month.

Sandiford, who lived in Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, was sentenced to death in January 2013 after being arrested eight months before when she was found with cocaine worth £1.6m.

After Ms Sandiford wrote to Sir Richard Branson earlier this month, he released a statement which said: “I strongly believe that the death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment, and every execution is one execution too many.

“We are following Lindsay Sandiford’s and other cases closely and fully support efforts that are currently underway to aid her appeal.”


Source: Gazette Live, Mike Brow, May 31, 2015

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