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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…

Federal appeal denied for Tennessee’s only woman on death row

Christa Pike
Christa Pike
Christa Pike was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1995 death of Colleen Slemmer.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – After more than two decades on death row, a federal court has denied to overturn Christa Pike’s conviction and death penalty sentence.

A federal court ruled that Pike doesn’t have grounds for a federal appeal and that she has exhausted Tennessee state appeals. 

 Pike was convicted in the 1995 death of Colleen Slemmer, 19. 

Prosecutors say Pike tortured Slemmer, beat her to death and then kept a piece of her skull as a trophy.

Pike appealed her conviction and death penalty sentence in 2012. Slemmer’s mother has been fighting to get back the rest of her remains, which are being held as evidence, for a proper burial.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office says Pike has completed all appeals at the state level.

Source: wate.com, March 10, 2016

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