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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…

Florida Senate votes down death penalty change

Florida's death chamber
Florida's death chamber
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A sharply divided Florida Senate is rejecting a proposal to require a unanimous jury recommendation in death penalty cases.

The Senate voted twice Wednesday on whether to require all 12 jurors to agree on death sentences. 

The proposal was rejected by votes of 22-18 and 23-17.

Florida doesn't require unanimous jury recommendations. But the Legislature is poised to change the law, requiring at least 10 out of 12 to recommend execution in order for it to be carried out.

The Senate originally wanted to require all jurors to agree on a death sentence. But senators agreed to switch to 10 jurors as part of a compromise with the House.

The Legislature is rewriting the death penalty law after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last month that the current method is unconstitutional.

Source: The Associated Press, March 2, 2016

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