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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…

Fate of Sarawakian on death row in limbo after Singapore court reserves judgment

Kho Jabing
Kho Jabing
The Court of Appeal in Singapore today reserved judgment on whether it should review the death sentence meted out on Sarawakian Kho Jabing for murder 8 years ago.

Lawyer Chandra Mohan K. Nair, in his 2-hour submission this evening, told the court that Jabing should be given a lighter sentence given that a lower court had earlier sentenced him to life imprisonment and 24 strokes of the cane. Jabing was found guilty of killing a man in a botched robbery in 2007.

"The lawyer today urged the judges to reconsider the death sentence," Kirsten Han, co-founder of Singapore's anti-death penalty group, We Believe in Second Chances, told The Malaysian Insider.

In 2010, the Sarawakian was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Chinese national Cao Ruyin. His case, however, was remitted to the Singapore High Court in 2013 for re-sentencing after the island-state reviewed their mandatory death penalty laws in 2012.

He was then sentenced to life imprisonment with caning.

His family's relief was shortlived when the death penalty was reimposed by the Court of Appeal in a close 3-2 decision.

Today's proceedings ended with the court reserving judgment to a date which has yet to be decided. Until then, Jabing's stay of execution remains.

Han said that it was likely that judgement would only be announced after the court, which would be on vacation at the end of next week, resumed its session in the new year.

Jabing, who is of Iban and Chinese descent, was scheduled for execution at dawn on November 6, but received a surprise stay of execution the day before after the Singapore Court of Appeal granted his lawyer time to file a criminal motion for a review of his case.

Jumai, and their mother Lenduk with the help of civil society groups in Malaysia and Singapore, have since ramped up efforts to appeal for support from Malaysian lawmakers and the public in calling for the Singapore government to grant him clemency.

Jumai, who was in Kuala Lumpur with her mother on November 11 to meet Sarawakian lawmakers and civil society groups, told The Malaysian Insider that her brother was "truly repentent". "He was so naive when he first went to Singapore, he had never worked or lived away from home.

"He was easily influenced, and he knows he is wrong. He just wants a 2nd chance at life, even if it is behind bars," she said.

Source: The Malaysian Insider, November 23, 2015

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