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Did Texas execute an innocent man? Film revisits a haunting question.

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Texans will have an opportunity to revisit a question that should haunt anyone who believes in the integrity of our criminal justice system: Did our state execute an innocent man? 
The new film “Trial by Fire” tells the true story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was sentenced to death for setting a fire to his home in Corsicana that killed his three young daughters in 1991. The film is based on an investigative story by David Grann that appeared in the New Yorker in 2009, five years after Willingham was executed over his vociferous protestations of innocence.
In my experience of serving 8 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and 4 years as a state district judge in Travis County, the Willingham case stands out to me for many of the same reasons it stood out to filmmaker Edward Zwick, who calls it a veritable catalogue of everything that’s wrong with the criminal justice system and, especially, the death penalty. False testimony, junk science, a jailhouse informant, and ineffe…

South Carolina: 600 potential jurors to be called for state's case against Dylann Roof

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof
The Charleston County Clerk of Court will call 600 potential jurors as attorneys work to seat a jury for the state's case against Emanuel AME Church mass shooting suspect Dylann Roof.

The pool of potential jurors will report on June 28, some 2 weeks before the start of the July 11 trial, for questionnaires and basic qualifications. Then, the jurors not excluded in that initial round will report to court starting July 11 in groups of 20 until a full jury is seated for Roof's trial.

Meanwhile, attorneys are finalizing the questionnaires.

The court told attorneys in a separate filing that any changes to the jury survey must be submitted by Feb. 15. Two day later, attorneys have to complete any motions related to the surveys.

In June, the court will let the defense and the state know which jurors can be excused, adding that a hearing could be held on the excusing of jurors on June 13.

Attorneys have to file all pre-trial motions by June 14. The hearings on the pre-trial motions will be held over a 3-day period starting June 28.

And that will lead everyone involved into the start of Roof's trial.

Roof is accused of fatally shooting nine Emanuel AME Church parishioners in a racially motivated attack on June 17, 2015. Among the dead was the church's pastor, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state senator.

Roof sat in a bible study for about an hour before opening fire on the group, investigators say.

The state is seeking the death penalty for Roof. His attorneys have said Roof is willing to enter a guilty plea if the state removes the possiblity of a death sentence.

Roof is also facing federal hate crime charges for the shooting, and that trial will commence once the state trial has concluded.

Source: WCIV news, January 28, 2016

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