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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: Human Rights Watchdog Calls for End to Capital Punishment

Indonesia's Special Police Force
Indonesia's Special Police Force
As preparations for the third round of executions continue on Nusakambangan Island near Cilacap, Central Java, human rights activists and legal academics have criticized Indonesia's continued use of capital punishment.

Respublica Political Institute executive director Benny Sabdo said the death penalty is a violation of human rights, inhumane and ineffective as a form of punishment.

"The death sentence still applies in the United States, but violent crime rates are still high there. Meanwhile in Canada, where capital punishment has been abolished, crime rates have receded," the law professor said on Wednesday (18/05).

Benny believes capital punishment equals man playing God.

"Punishments for crime should not violate basic human rights, and should not degrade human dignity in any way," said the professor, who also believes that the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent to crime.

According to Amnesty International, Indonesia is 1 of 37 United Nations member states that continue to use the death penalty in law and practice, while 102 have completely abolished it for all crimes.

The University of Indonesia constitutional law alumni emphasized that death row inmates are not objects and therefore still entitled to basic human rights. He added that Indonesia must be consistent in enforcing human rights for all.

Besides Indonesians, citizens of China, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are expected to be on the list of inmates facing the firing squad in the third round of executions.

Source: Jakarta Globe, May 18, 2016

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