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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…

Indonesia: Third round of executions to go ahead despite delays

Nusa Kambangan Island, where the last round of executions took place.
Nusakambangan Island, where the last round of executions took place.
The government has not yet finalized the date for the impending execution of death-row convicts despite the attorney general's plan to conduct a third round of executions at the beginning of 2016.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) would still follow through with the executions, but the exact time and location had not yet been confirmed, AGO spokesman Agung Amir Yanto said on Thursday.

"Until now, neither the place nor which convicts [will be executed] have been finalized," Amir said as quoted by Kompas.com.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo said previously that a third round of executions would be conducted in January following the deaths of two groups of death-row convicts last year.

Amir said executing a person was a complicated matter.

"The death penalty is related to the loss of someone's life. It must be done carefully so as not to violate human rights," he said.

Preparations for executions must be thorough, he continued, adding that it was a complicated process especially when it involved foreign citizens.

The AGO must coordinate with the country of origin of foreign convicts, including on the legal rights of the convicts in regards to their defense.

"The issue of the death penalty involves other things, including clemency, judicial review, as well as health. And not only that, but also facilities," said Amir.

According to AGO data, there were 64 drug convicts sentenced to death as of 2015.

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration executed two groups of death row convicts, comprising 14 people, on Jan. 18 and April 29 last year.

Two of the convicts were Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, whose executions in April caused tension between the two countries, leading to Australia recalling its ambassador from Indonesia.

The government continues to enforce the death sentence on big players in drug trafficking cases despite mounting criticism from other countries and human rights activists, arguing that the death penalty would not have a deterrent effect on drug traffickers and that consistency in law enforcement was the key to curbing the distribution of drugs.

Source: Jakarta Post, April 16, 2016

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