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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…

'Bali Nine' Ringleader Named GQ Artist Of The Year, Seven Months After His Execution

"Self Portrait after our new arrivals, A bad sleep last night", Myuran Sukumaran, Nusakambangan Island, April 25, 2015
"Self Portrait after our new arrivals, A bad sleep
last night" by Myuran Sukumaran, Nusakambangan
penal island, April 25, 2015.
Convicted drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran has been posthumously named GQ Artist of the Year, seven months after his execution in Indonesia.

Sukumaran was sentenced to death for his involvement in the Bali Nine drug trafficking ring -- of which he and Andrew Chan were deemed the ring-leaders. Both were executed by firing squad in April.

Prior to his death, Sukumaran developed a love and undisputed talent for art, creating a large body of work during his imprisonment, including many self-portraits.

The annual GQ magazine Men of the Year Awards honoured Sukumaran by announcing him Artist of the Year at a ceremony held at Merivale’s ivy Ballroom in Sydney on Tuesday night.

Archibald Prize winner Ben Quilty, who considered Sukumaran his friend and protégé, was one of many who took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the posthumous honour.

Many Australians protested against the executions of Sukumaran and Chan, asking for mercy for the pair who had demonstrated their rehabilitation through numerous ways, including teaching other prisoners English, computer, graphic design and philosophy.

Prior to the death of his friend, Quilty told RN Breakfast, "Myuran has done a horrible thing -- but that’s a long time ago".

"He’s a very quiet, very big, very well respected man in the prison. He helps run a very tight ship with his art room.

"He’s my friend. He’s a profoundly powerful person. No matter what happens, this shows the power of art, which I didn’t get until I spent time with this man on death row in Kerobokan prison."

Source: HuffPost Australia, Emily Blatchford, November 11, 2015


Executed Bali Nine Ringleader Myuran Sukumaran Named GQ Artist Of The Year

Artist Ben Quilty (r) and Myuran Sukumaran (l) in Kerobokan Prison's painting workshop, Bali, Indonesia.
Artist Ben Quilty (r) and Myuran Sukumaran (l) in Kerobokan Prison's
painting workshop, Bali, Indonesia.
Myuran Sukumaran, one of the executed Bali Nine ringleaders, was posthumously honored by GQ Australia in its 2015 Men of the Year awards as Artist of the Year.

It was announced at the awards ceremony in Sydney on Tuesday night and Sukumaran’s family took the stage to accept his award, in what could have only been a super bittersweet moment.

The Australian was executed this year in Indonesia in April along with fellow Bali Nine member Andrew Chan for their role in a 2005 drug trafficking plot, despite loads of controversy and plenty of pushback from the public and the Australian government pleading for mercy.

Leading up to his execution, Sukumaran became known for his artwork, particularly his evocative self-portraits during his time in Bali’s Kerobokan Prison.

His work was even exhibited in London shortly before his execution.

Source: Coconut Bali, November 11, 2015

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