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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 AG: Death penalty still needed

Indonesia's attorney general insists that death penalties must be maintained in the country's judicial system as a shock therapy against serious crime.

"I'm confident that the death penalty is a kind of therapy. It is an unpleasant action, but we must do it," said Attorney General HM Prasetyo in a working meeting with the House Commission III overseeing law and human rights, on Wednesday evening.

The statement came in response to a question raised by a Commission III member from the Democratic Party, Ruhut Sitompul, who asked about the spirit behind the death penalty in Indonesia.

In November 2015, the government suspended executions of death row convicts amid an economic slowdown. 

At that time, the government wanted to focus on improving the economy, which was expanding at a slow pace of 4.73 percent in the third quarter of 2015.

"The death penalty has no connection with the economy," Prasetyo said, adding that the reactions of foreign countries about the issue are excessive.

Foreign countries and human rights groups have slammed Indonesia for implementing capital punishment against convicts, as stipulated in the Criminal Code (KUHP). President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had two groups of convicts, totaling 14 people, executed in January and April 2015.

Two of the convicts were Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who were executed in April 2015, causing bilateral tension and leading to Australia recalling its ambassador from Indonesia.

"We need a similar policy to fight drug crimes," Prasetyo said, adding that Commission III should issue a statement to put to death some convicts who already on death row.

Source: Jakarta Post, January 21, 2016

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