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…

No plans to return death penalty for terrorism - Russian lawmaker

The State Duma is not considering overturning the death penalty moratorium, a member of the Lower House law committee has said in a television interview. "At the present moment the issue of introducing the death penalty, including the death penalty for terrorism, is not being considered in Russia," MP Raphael Mardanshin (United Russia) told the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

The lawmaker added that he agreed additional counter-terrorist measures were needed, but the death penalty was not the best choice for this. "For terrorists it is often an honor to die while carrying out an attack. Therefore they can actually consider execution as a good thing," Mardashin said.

"When we use the measures that exist today, like prison sentences for life, it is more difficult for terrorists to contemplate the consequences of their actions for many years," the MP noted.

The comment came soon after the head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov again urged Russian authorities to introduce the death penalty for terrorism, claiming that keeping convicted extremists in prisons was too expensive and also that there was a threat that terrorists serving life sentences would recruit new supporters inside prisons.

Earlier this week a key member of the Communist caucus in the State Duma also proposed the death penalty for terrorists as an extraordinary measure and "a supreme measure of social protection," adding that it could help to bring down the threat of terrorism that could increase in connection with Russia's active participation in the operation against Islamic State in Syria.

Russia introduced a moratorium on the death penalty in 1999 as it sought membership in the Council of Europe. The Constitution still allows it for especially grave crimes and after a guilty verdict by a jury court.

Several times top Russian law enforcement officials have suggested lifting the moratorium, and opinion polls show the majority of people would support it. In late 2013 an MP from the nationalist-populist LDPR party proposed to execute convicted terrorists, pedophiles and people who involve children in illegal drug use. The Lower House rejected the bill without considering it.

Source: rt.com, October 16, 2015

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