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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: Death penalty sought for man over 1998 murder of Aichi couple

Osaka Prison cell where inmates are held in solitary confinement
Osaka Prison cell where inmates are held in solitary confinement
NAGOYA — Prosecutors on Monday demanded the death penalty for a man indicted over the 1998 murder and robbery of a couple in Aichi Prefecture, central Japan.

The death penalty was sought for Hiroshi Sato, 39, in a lay judge trial at the Nagoya District Court over the murder of company executive Ichio Magoori, 45, and his wife Satomi, 36, in the city of Hekinan.

Prosecutors said Sato “committed a cruel and evil crime, taking the lives of a couple who had done nothing wrong just to get money.” The court is expected to hand down a ruling on Feb 5.

Sato’s accomplice, Yoshitomo Hori, 40, who was sentenced to death in December, has appealed the ruling.

According to the indictment, Sato conspired with Hori and Teruo Hayama to kill the couple at their home and stole approximately 60,000 yen in June 1998. The three men were co-workers at the time.

Sato’s defense counsel urged the court not to sentence him to death, saying he “just helped his accomplices and has reflected on what he did, praying for the repose of the couple’s souls.”

Sato offered an apology to the relatives of the victims in the trial.

Separately, Sato and Hori have been indicted for attempting to kill a woman in her 70s by strangling her at her home in Nagoya and robbing her of around 25,000 yen in 2006.

Source: Japan Today, January 26, 2016

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