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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…

Sukumaran and Chan families deserve more help, says wife of death row man

Sabine Atlaoui has recalled a terrible three months that began when her husband Serge was named on a list of convicts to face the firing squad

The families of 8 people executed in Indonesia in April deserve continued support, as capital punishment means a life-long sentence for them, says the wife of a man still on death row.

Sabine Atlaoui has recalled a terrible three months that began when her husband Serge was named on a list of convicts to face the firing squad alongside Australians Myuran Sukumaran, Andrew Chan and others.

As they were given 72 hours notice of their executions, the Frenchman was removed from the list and able to pursue legal appeals.

Atlaoui and her family, including a 3-year-old child, had spent the weeks before in Cilacap along with the Australian families and lawyers, desperately campaigning to halt the executions.

She told the Asian Regional Congress on the Death Penalty the burden of capital punishment falls to innocent families, who must endure a lifetime of suffering.

"In this context that's highly political, at the end of the day you have to wonder, who is punished?" she said.

"Those on death row who are executed are gone, but what about their families? "Their parents, their brothers and sisters and cousins, they have to live with the torture and the pain and they have done nothing."

The conference earlier heard about the questionable investigations and trials of the 8 people executed, including some who weren't given translators or legal representation, and the case of Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, who was mentally ill.

Atlaoui said their families must not be forgotten.

"We've been through the same fate, we suffered the same anxiety, the same fears, the same doubts," she said.

"Today I think of them and I want them to be remembered."

Her husband, 51, has protested his innocence since being arrested in a 2005 raid on a factory that was producing ecstasy.

His appeal in the administrative court continues next week.

Australia's ambassador, Paul Grigson, recalled in protest of the executions of Chan and Sukumaran, returned to Jakarta this week, after about 40 days absent.

Source: The Guardian, June 13, 2015

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