FEATURED POST

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Image
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…

Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Files Appeal Citing Publicity

D. Tsarnaev
D. Tsarnaev
Attorneys for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appealed his conviction and death sentence on Monday, arguing that publicity made it impossible for him to get a fair trial in the city and that capital punishment is unconstitutional.

In court papers, defense lawyer William Fick cited a recent dissent by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in which he said that he believes the death penalty "now likely constitutes a legally prohibited 'cruel and unusual punishment.'"

However, the majority opinion in that very same case opened with the declaration that "capital punishment is constitutional."

Tsarnaev was sentenced to death in June for helping his older brother carry out the April 15, 2013, blasts that killed 3 people and injured and maimed more than 200 others.

The appeal claims that "continuous and unrelenting publicity" about the bombings, the defendant and his family, and wrenching survivor stories prevented him from getting an impartial hearing. It notes that Boston announced a new holiday marking the bombings while jurors were deliberating Tsarnaev's guilt.

As users of social media, the jurors would have found it impossible to avoid coverage, the appeal argues.

"Put simply, prejudicial media coverage, events, and environment saturated greater Boston, including the social networks of actual trial jurors, and made it an improper venue for the trial of this case," the court papers say.

The defense repeatedly asked for a change of venue before the trial began, but the requests were rejected by the judge.

Source: NBC news, August 18, 2015

Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Iran: Three Hand Amputations, Four Hangings Carried Out in Qom

Iran: Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported From Norway

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Iran: Three executions carried out, two in front of large crowds

Gambia: President Barrow Signs Abolition Of Death Penalty Treaty

Texas Child Killer John Battaglia Found Competent for Execution

Two Myanmar migrants make final appeal in Koh Tao murder case

Judge warns death row inmate to keep Nevada's execution manual secret

Seventeen Hanged in Various Iranian Prisons, One in Public

Iran: More Public Executions, Prisoner Hanged While Crowd Watched