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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…

Number of crimes in Japan falls to postwar low in 2015

Tokyo street
TOKYO — The number of crimes in Japan in 2015 hit a postwar low, the National Police Agency said Thursday, citing an increase in security cameras as well as raised public awareness of crime prevention.

Overall penal code violations decreased 9.3% from the previous year to 1,099,048, falling below the previous record of 1,190,549 set in 1973, the agency said in a preliminary report.

All categories of crimes marked declines from 2014.

The number of thefts, which account for more than 70% of crimes in Japan, dropped to 807,605 from 897,259. Murders fell to 933 from 1,054 with fraud cases down to 39,439 from 41,523.

The crime clearance rate, or the ratio of cases solved by police to total reported crimes, improved to 32.5% from 30.6%, with the ratio for murder and other violent crimes rising to 72.3% from 68.2%, topping 70% for the first time in 16 years.

By age of those subject to police action, the number of juveniles aged between 14 and 19 sharply fell to 39,501 from 142,594 in 2002, when the total number of penal code violations peaked.

That of the elderly aged 65 or older, meanwhile, nearly doubled to 47,643 from the 2002 figure of 24,241, reflecting Japan’s graying society.

Source: Japan Times, January 15, 2016

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