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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…

Family of Filipina on death row going to Dubai

The family of an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) from this city who is facing death penalty in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after being convicted last May of killing her employer will finally meet with her in the next few days.

Rahima Dalquez, mother of convicted OFW Jennifer, said Tuesday they are set to leave for the UAE anytime this week to visit her daughter at the Al Ain jail and help in the ongoing appeals for her case.

Rahima will be joined by her husband Abdulhamid and another family member in the trip, which is being facilitated by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

"We're happy that Allah is giving us this chance to see her and we're very thankful to the government for making this happen," she said in the vernacular in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen.

Jennifer Dalquez, 28, who hails from Barangay Labangal here, was sentenced to death by a court in Al Ain, UAE last May 20 for stabbing her employer to death on Dec. 7, 2014.

During trial, she said the act was in self-defense after her Emirati employer had tried to rape her.

Ebrahim Zailon, acting head of the DFA regional consular office here, said the agency had assigned a lawyer to handle Dalquez' case, especially her appeal.

A hearing for her appeal was set on Sept. 3 in Al Ain, UAE.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz visited Dalquez in jail last June 18 and expressed "high hopes" that the appeal would be successful.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration had provided assistance to Dalquez' family, especially her 2 children.

Jennifer's father Abdulhamid believes her daughter's conviction would be overturned as she only acted in self-defense.

"She's innocent so we're very hopeful with her appeal," he said.

Rahima, on the other hand, advised relatives of other OFWs who are facing various sentences overseas "not to lose hope."

"We're also hoping that we will be joined by Jennifer when we return home," she added.

Source: mindanews.com, Sept. 1, 2015

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