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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…

Japan: Killer of 6-year-old Kobe girl gets death penalty

Yasuhiro Kimino
Yasuhiro Kimino
KOBE – The Kobe District Court on Friday gave the death sentence to a man who killed a 6-year-old girl in the city in 2014.

Yasuhiro Kimino, 49, lured the first-grader to his home by asking her to sit for a painting. He then strangled and stabbed her, dismembered her body and placed it in plastic bags, prosecutors say.

The prosecutors sought the death penalty, saying Kimino showed a brutal disregard for human life.

Kimino was charged with abduction for obscene purposes, murder, damage to a corpse and abandoning a corpse.

In their closing arguments outlined at Kobe District Court, the prosecutors termed Kimino’s criminal motivation “selfish,” saying there was no reason to spare the defendant from the death sentence as he had “a strong propensity to crime and it would be very difficult to correct him.”

The defendant admitted killing the girl and dismembering and abandoning her body in the first hearing of his trail Monday, but denied he abducted her for the purpose of molesting her.

The girl’s mother told the court Thursday she would never forgive the man.

The victim went missing after she returned home from elementary school in Kobe on Sept. 11, 2014, and her dismembered body was found on Sept. 23.

Police arrested Kimino, who lived locally, the following day.

The case was tried by presiding Judge Takeshi Samo, two other professional judges and six lay judges.

Source: The Japan Times, March 18, 2016

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