Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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…

Oklahoma: Richard Glossip gets 37-day stay of execution


Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has issued a 37-day stay of Richard Glossip’s execution to address legal questions raised about execution protocol.

Source: DPN Editor, Sept 30, 2015 (11:08 pm CEST)

Oklahoma governor issues last-minute stay and halts execution of Richard Glossip

Richard Glossip
Richard Glossip
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin called off the execution of Richard Glossip on Wednesday afternoon, delaying the execution for more than a month due to issues with the drugs that would have been used.

Glossip’s execution had been scheduled for 3 p.m. He had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the execution, arguing that more time was needed to allow officials to review new evidence in the case, but the justices rejected his request shortly before his lethal injection was intended to begin.

More than an hour later, Fallin issued an unexpected stay, ordering that the execution be postponed until Nov. 6. In her executive order declaring the stay, she said it was due to the state Department of Corrections receiving a drug they were unsure could be used as part of its lethal injection protocol.

“Last minute questions were raised today about Oklahoma’s execution protocol and the chemicals used for lethal injection,” Fallin said in a statement. “After consulting with the attorney general and the Department of Corrections, I have issued a 37 day stay of execution while the state addresses those questions and ensures it is complying fully with the protocols approved by federal courts.”

Fallin wrote in her order that the stay was specifically ordered because the state had received potassium acetate as the third drug to be used in the execution. Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol allows for the use of potassium chloride (which can stop the heart) in executions, but it does not list potassium acetate.

It was not clear why the last-minute questions were needed when the state’s lethal injection procedure calls for officials to tell inmates what drugs will be used 10 days before the execution date. In addition, the state has two other executions scheduled in the coming weeks, but it was not known if those would be delayed as well.

Click here to read the full article

Source: Washington Post, Mark Berman, Sept. 30, 2015

Richard Glossip shares his emotions, addresses Van Treese family after stay granted

Oklahoma death chamber
Oklahoma death chamber
For death row inmate Richard Glossip, Wednesday afternoon began as planned, preparation for his execution.

“I was in Cell L, which is the cell right next to the death chamber,” Glossip said. “I was standing there and nobody was doing anything, so I said, ‘What’s going on?’ And nobody would really tell me what was going on.”

For Glossip, the news didn’t come until a Department of Corrections worker explained his execution was stopped short just after 3 p.m. when Gov. Mary Fallin filed for a last-minute stay of execution. It was a shock, Glossip shared with KOCO just minutes later over the phone.

“I gotta say that was probably rough,” he admitted. “Probably the two roughest hours I think I’ve ever had since I’ve been locked up.”

In his phone call with KOCO, Glossip shared his stress and even addressed the Van Treese family, now left waiting for justice yet again.

“You know I really do feel like I’m a yo-yo right now,” he said. “That’s what I feel like and I think they’re (Van Treeses) probably feeling the same way I am. They’re prepared for the end of it, and I’m prepared for my end of it, and I mean you can’t call it nothing but torture for everybody.”

Now as the state reviews its execution drugs, Glossip has 37 more days to live. It's time he doesn’t plan to waste.

“I’m not going to die in 37 days, until the truth is finally in a courtroom where people can see it,” Glossip said. “I got to make sure that if I get another stay, I have to make sure that I clear my name so that way I don’t have to do this again. So I’m going to do my best to do that. It’s not easy, but I got to do my best.”

Source: koco.com, Morgan Chesky, October 1, 2015

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