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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…

Japan: Man serving life for murder gets death sentence for another slaying

Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center
Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center
A man sentenced to life over a high-profile yami saito (darkness website) murder case in 2007 has now been sentenced to death for a different slaying committed 9 years earlier.

Judge Taro Kageyama of the Nagoya District Court sentenced Yoshitomo Hori, 40, to death on Tuesday in a lay judge trial for the murder of Ichio Magoori, 45, and his wife, Satomi, 36, in Aichi Prefecture in 1998.

In the 2007 murder case, Hori was initially sentenced to death in 2009 for kidnapping, robbing and killing Rie Isogai, 31, in Nagoya with 2 men Hori met through a so-called yami saito for seeking "crime mates."

The sentence was reduced to life in prison in 2011 by a higher court, which acknowledged the possibility of his rehabilitation. The sentence was finalized by the Supreme Court in 2012.

"It is rare that a death penalty is handed down to a defendant after his life imprisonment was finalized for a different case," said Hiroki Nakajima, a criminal law professor at Heisei International University.

According to the indictment, Hori conspired with 2 different men and killed the Magoori couple in an apartment in Hekinan and stole Y60,000 from them in June 1998.

Hori is also suspected of assaulting a woman in her 70s in an apartment in Nagoya and robbing her in 2006.M

One of Hori's accomplices in the Isogai murder, Kenji Kawagishi, was sentenced to life in prison, while the other, Tsukasa Kanda, was sentenced to death. He was hanged this past June.

Source: Japan Times, December 15, 2015

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