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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…

Philippines: Zapanta's parents: 'Where's the P23-M blood money?'

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
The parents of Joselito Zapanta, the overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who was executed in Saudi Arabia in December, are looking for the P23-million bloody money the government raised to save him from death penalty.

"Where did the blood money go? If they (the government) really collected the money for my son, I hope they could give that to me so we could start all over again," Ramona Zapanta, mother of the OFW, said in an interview with Senate reporters on Monday.

Zapanta, 35, was executed in Saudi Arabia on December 29, 2015 for the murder of his Sudanese landlord over a rental dispute after to the P23-million blood money was rejected by the Sudanese widow.

The victim's family was asking P43 million blood money to save Zapanta from the death row.

Jesus Zapanta, the OFW's father, said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has yet to update them about the status of the bloody money.

He added that they have yet to receive any assistance from the DFA.

The government earlier said that the money was kept in a bank account being managed by the Philippine embassy in Saudi Arabia.

Senator Cynthia Villar, who granted some livelihood assistance to Zapanta's kin, said that many OFWs experience misfortune abroad.

"It is a sad reality that many of our OFWs experience misfortune abroad. When subjected to abuse, there are those who chose to suffer in silence. Some OFWs chose to fight back and ended up in jail," Villar said.

"We hope this livelihood assistance will go a long way in helping the family cope with the loss of their breadwinner," she added.

The senator said she hoped that Zapanta's execution would serve as reminder to Filipino migrant workers that foreign lands have harsher penalties for crimes and to always follow the laws of their host countries.

Several groups earlier appealed to the government to donate a portion of the P23 million to Zapanta's grieving family and to help other OFWs on the death row.

Source: Sun Star, Feb 1, 2016

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