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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…

Indonesia's turnaround on death penalty means heartbreak for 2 Australian families

There are 2 Australian families facing what's meant to be a happy time of year with heavy hearts.

There are 2 Australian families that lost their sons to the firing squad in Indonesia after 10 years in prison. And there are 2 Australia families who will be sickened by the latest news from Indonesia: they have halted executions.

According to the country's top security minister, the current death row inmates will not be facing the firing squad in the near future.

Luhut Binsar Panjaitan told a news conference the government's priority was to address the economic slowdown, during bilateral meetings aimed at boosting trade with the Australian government.

It's a step to patch up the damaged relationship fractured by the killing of 2 Australian citizens: Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan in April.

"We haven't thought about executing a death penalty with the economic conditions like this," Mr Panjaitan told reporters in Jakarta.

BBC reports Indonesian correspondents have said no executions are scheduled at this time, a stark contrast from the hurried nature of Chan and Sukumaran's last days.

Indonesia's economic growth dropped below 5% in 2015, and executions cost not only government money, but tourism to the country as Western nations generally oppose their hard line on prisoners.

This year Indonesia executed 14 people by firing squad, including citizens from Brazil, the Netherlands and Nigeria, as well as Australia, damaging relationships and losing ambassadors from the majority.

Currently, there are dozens of people awaiting their fate, although none are Australians.

It remains to be seen whether Chan and Sukumaran would still be alive today if executions were halted, but it's a question that their families will no doubt be thinking about.

Source: startsatsixty.com, November 22, 2015

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