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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…

Nebraska: Death penalty debate heats up as both sides fight for voters

Signing a petition against the Nebraska death penalty repeal
Signing a petition against the Nebraska death penalty repeal
This November major issues will appear on the ballot in Nebraska beyond who's elected to the presidency.

The death penalty debate is heating up again, bot sides launching re-newed campaigns.

Last Wednesday, the advocated for abolishing the death penalty launched "Retain A Just Nebraska". But coming soon, the people who want to keep the death penalty will launch "Repeal the Repeal".

"We think that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for heinous murderers and we are going to do anything we can to make sure Nebraskans understand that and go out and vote in November," said Rod Edwards, state field director of Nebraskans for the Death Penalty.

9 months from the general election, both sides are already gearing up for a fight to win over voters.

"It's just costing us money," said Lincoln Senator Colby Coash during a Retain A Just Nebraska commercial.

Nebraska hasn't carried out an execution since 1997. Supporters of the abolishment say capital punishment isn't cost effective.

However Edwards disagrees, "They try and say that the death penalty is more expensive--that is not accurate."

Edwards said opponents are tipping their hand by starting to advertise already.

"Our opposition is out there already with slick television ads 9 months before the election just goes to show that they know they have a lot of ground to make up," said Edwards.

The Nebraska legislature overrode a veto from Governor Pete Ricketts to abolish the death penalty in the state.

Since then, more than 166,000 Nebraskans signed the petition to reinstate the death penalty.

Voters will decide which side will win in November.

Source: KMTV news, Feb. 29, 2016


Nebraskans for the Death Penalty is finalizing Repeal the Repeal campaign

The campaign to bring back capital punishment is about to start its next phase.

Nebraskans for the Death Penalty gathered 166,000 signatures last year to get a referendum on the issue the November General Election ballot.

Group co-founder Bob Evnen says a grassroots campaign will convince voters the death penalty is needed and not a broken system.

"And what I would really hope that the Unicameral would turn its attention to would be how to carry out the sentence and to focus on that instead of just throwing in the towel," Evnen tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Evnen says they are putting together a coalition of groups and people who believe the state needs to execute those who commit serious crimes.

"It will be a campaign that covers all the bases. It certainly will be a grassroots campaign," Evnen says. "There are tens and hundreds of thousands of Nebraskans who favor retaining the death penalty - repealing the repeal."

The legislature repealed the death penalty last year, and the group Retain a Just Nebraska is fighting to keep that from being overturned in November's election.

Source: Nebraska Radio Network, Feb. 29, 2016

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