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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…

South Africa: Oscar Pistorius Released on $692 Bail After Murder Conviction

Oscar Pitorius
Oscar Pitorius
Oscar Pistorius, who murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day 2013, was granted bail on Tuesday and has the freedom of South Africa's capital Pretoria as he waits to appeal his conviction in April.

The Paralympic champion, nicknamed "Blade Runner" because of the prosthetic legs he uses to race, was granted bail of 10,000 rand ($686), after spending the last two months under house arrest at his uncle's home in a wealthy Pretoria suburb.

Pistorius had been meant to serve the rest of a five-year sentence there but the Supreme Court upgraded the 29-year-old's conviction to murder from culpable homicide last week. He will appear in court on April 18 to give an update on his appeal at the constitutional court.

He faces a minimum 15-year sentence for shooting Steenkamp in a case that has fascinated and divided South Africa, a country beset by high levels of violent crime.

Rights groups say the white track star has received preferential treatment.

On Tuesday, South African High Court Judge Aubrey Ledwaba said Pistorius could leave the house between 7 a.m. (12 a.m. ET) and noon and, with permission from the authorities, travel within a radius of 20km (12 miles).

Pistorius has been ordered to hand in his passport and wear an electronic tag.

When he was arrested in 2013, Pistorius had to set aside bail of 1 million rand, but on Tuesday he argued for a reduced amount, saying his means had diminished.

Source: Reuters, December 8, 2015

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