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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 postpones Frenchman’s death row appeal to June 8

Serge Atlaoui and his Indonesian lawyer during a hearing on April 1, 2015.
An Indonesian court Wednesday once again postponed the hearing of an appeal by a Frenchman on death row, indicating the country's slow-moving justice system could delay his execution for some time yet.

Serge Atlaoui, 51, had been due to face the firing squad with seven other foreign drug convicts on April 29 but was removed from the list after authorities agreed to let an outstanding legal appeal run its course.

It was due to start at the Jakarta State Administrative Court on Wednesday, however judge Ujang Abdullah adjourned the case to next week after Atlaoui's expert failed to attend.

In the appeal, Atlaoui, a welder, is challenging President Joko Widodo's decision to reject his request for clemency, claiming the Indonesian leader did not properly consider his case.

A plea for presidential clemency is typically a death row convict's final chance to avoid the firing squad.

France stepped up pressure on Indonesia in recent weeks to abandon plans to put Atlaoui to death, with President Francois Hollande warning of "consequences" if the execution goes ahead.

Atlaoui was arrested in a 2005 raid on a secret drug laboratory outside Jakarta. He has maintained his innocence, claiming that he was installing machinery in what he thought was an acrylics plant.

However, police say he was a "chemist" in the drugs factory.

Widodo has insisted he will not change course on the death penalty, as Indonesia faces an emergency due to rising narcotics use.

Source: Agence France-Presse, DPN, June 3, 2015

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