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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…

Man whose case led to ruling against Connecticut death penalty resentenced to life in prison

A former death row inmate whose appeal resulted in capital punishment being eliminated in Connecticut has been resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hartford Superior Court Judge Carl Taylor sentenced 36-year-old Eduardo Santiago on Friday for a 2000 murder-for-hire killing in West Hartford. 

Prosecutors say Santiago shot 45-year-old Joseph Niwinski in exchange for a pink-striped snowmobile with a broken clutch.

Santiago, whose death sentence previously had been overturned, was facing the possibility of it being reinstated when the state Supreme Court ruled on his appeal in August. 

A divided court found that capital punishment "no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency" and doesn't serve any penal purpose.

The state had eliminated the death penalty in 2012, except for those who were already facing capital punishment.

Source: Associated Press, December 7, 2015

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