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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…

Fresh agony for British granny Lindsay Sandiford as Bali prepares to execute new batch of drug smugglers in the New Year

Lindsay Sandiford has been trying to raise money for a last-ditch appeal through Indonesia's complex legal system
Lindsay Sandiford has been trying to raise money for a last-ditch
appeal through Indonesia's complex legal system.
British drug-running grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces the prospect she will be shot in the New Year after Indonesia revealed today it was ready to execute a fresh batch of death row convicts.

The 59-year-old former legal secretary from Cheltenham is reported by jail visitors to be alarmed at the news that Indonesia has lifted its temporary ban on executions and will soon announce a list of the drug convicts who will die by firing squad in 2016.

As Mrs Sandiford has been lingering on death row in Bali's notorious Kerobokan Prison for more than three years since admitting trying to smuggle £1.6 million worth of cocaine through the holiday island's airport, observers said she would be lucky not to find her name on the next round of prisoners to die.

Mrs Sandiford has been desperately trying to raise enough money for a last-ditch appeal through Indonesia's complex legal system, but time now appears to be running out for her.

She had been told earlier this year that her execution date had been agreed upon by the authorities, but she was said to be greatly relieved to hear several weeks ago that Indonesia had decided to halt all executions 'for economic reasons'.

This was seen as putting a permanent end to the death penalty but Attorney General Prasetyo - who uses only one name - has now announced that executions will resume in the New Year.

'The executions will be implemented in 2016,' he said. 'This should become our focus. Law enforcement should keep moving ahead.'

He told the news portal Kompas that the third round of drug-runner executions should have been carried out earlier this year, but they were delayed due to economic reasons as it was feared that further executions would hinder the flow of investment into Indonesia.

This year, 14 drug convicts have been executed, among them two Australians, resulting in international condemnation and the souring of diplomatic relations with a number of countries including Australia and Brazil.

But Prasetyo said the executions had been approved by many neighbouring South East Asian countries because they considered Indonesia to be serious in the fight against drugs.

'Our neighbours appreciate our actions because drugs are our common enemy,' he said.

Mrs Sandiford, who had befriended the two Australians in jail, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - shot by firing squad in April - described their deaths as 'brutal' and 'senseless'.


Source: MailOnline, Richard Shears, December 29, 2015

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