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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…

Manufacturing illicit liquor in Bihar could soon lead to death penalty

Patna, Bihar
Patna, Bihar
Patna: The Bihar government is bringing a bill to award capital punishment for manufacturing illicit liquor once prohibition comes into effect in the state from 1 April, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Wednesday.

The government would bring a legislation in the ongoing budget session of the Assembly against liquor sale in which there would be a provision of capital punishment for those caught manufacturing illicit liquor, he said.

Bihar government has decided to impose prohibition of country and spiced liquor in the state and restricted sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor from 1 April.

For sustaining the livelihood of those involved in the business of liquor, the government has offered them to sell products of Sudha Dairy from their counters.

"The officials have told me, so far they have received over 200 applications for opening Sudha Dairy outlets in place of those selling liquor from across the state," Kumar told reporters in his Assembly chamber.

The state-run Bihar State Milk Co-operative Federation Ltd markets its products under the brand name "Sudha Dairy". Kumar expressed optimism that many more such proposals would pour in from different parts of the state.

He said a comprehensive campaign was underway to convince people to give up drinking.

"More than 40 lakh volunteers including members of self-help groups are going from house to house to ask people to give up the habit of drinking," he said.

Moreover, students in 72,000 government schools in the state were given a declaration form which they have to get signed by their parent not to touch liquor.

Kumar said officials were identifying habitual boozers for their treatment in a de-addiction centre, which every district would have at least one.

Kumar asserted prohibition would bring a social revolution particularly in rural areas where many a household were ruined due to drinking habit of the earning member.

"Encouraging results to this effect have started coming from hinterland where women have been organising campaign against alcohol," he added.

Source: F. India, March 9, 2016

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