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…

Indonesian court sentences 2 drug smugglers to death

Meth bust (file photo)
Indonesia sentenced 2 men to death Friday for running an worldwide drug syndicate that smuggled 840 kg (1,850 pounds) of methamphetamine into the country.

The sentences, however, were lighter than those demanded by public prosecutors Teguh Ananto and Leila Qadria, who last week demanded the death penalty for all syndicate members, including the ring leader, Wong Chi Ping, for violating Article 114, Paragraph 2, of Law No. 35/2009 on narcotics.

Wong was believed to have been the mastermind behind the smuggling of methamphetamine from Hong Kong, on southeast China's coast, to Indonesia, packing the drugs into coffee containers, media reported.

A former fisherman, Wong started a fish business in Indonesia and eventually married an Indonesian woman.

Judges in the trials concluded that there were no reasons for lenience and both defendants deserved death sentences.

"The harsh penalty on drugs will provide a deterrent effect for those who are looking to do such crimes", said Slamet Pribadi, spokesman for the agency, after the West Jakarta District Court delivered its verdict.

Wong's lawyers said they would appeal against the sentence.

The National Narcotics Agency said it appreciated the judge's decision to send the pair to the firing squad, although it had earlier expressed its disappointment that the other 7 were spared. 

Widodo has accelerated the death penalty campaign - so far 14 drug convicts have been executed during his presidency, 12 of them foreigners.

Source: Rapid News Network, November 15, 2015

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