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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…

Indonesian Drug Smuggler to Evade Execution Due to Ongoing Legal Process

Indonesia's special police force
Jakarta. Justice and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly has confirmed that death-row convict Freddy Budiman will not be included in the third round of executions of drug convicts that is expected to take place soon.

Freddy, who was found guilty of smuggling 1.4 million ecstasy pills from China to Indonesia, has so far evaded execution due to an incomplete legal process.

"He still has an ongoing legal process. Just ask the attorney general," Yasonna said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Monday (09/05).

Moreover, the minister said he had not yet received detailed information about the third round of executions.

"I have not been notified. Ask the attorney general," Yasonna said.

The executions were expected to take place in the beginning of this year, as it is funded from the 2016 budget of the Attorney General's Office.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports state that the names of 14 death-row inmates have been included in the list, including 10 foreigners.

Several parties have also requested the inclusion of French national Sergei Areski Atlaoui and Mary Jane Veloso of the Philippines, after the latter was given a temporary reprieve previously due to the ongoing trial of her employer in her homeland.

Last year, most of the executed inmates were foreigners, prompting a wave of international condemnation of Indonesia's use of capital punishment as well as diplomatic pressure from many countries.

Source: Jakarta Globe, May 10, 2016


Kalla: Death Penalty Is Just a Waiting Game

Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla handed over a file related to the next round of executions of death-row inmates to the Attorney General's Office on Wednesday (04/05).

However, Kalla said the Supreme Court had already issued verdicts in the cases long ago and that the executions now only constituted a waiting game.

"The Supreme Court has the authority to order executions and the verdicts have been issued a long time ago, but the time of the execution, that is up to [Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo]," Kalla said.

The third round of executions was supposed to take place early this year but it was postponed due to shortages in the AGO's annual budget. Until now, there has been no confirmation from the AGO of when the executions will take place.

Among those on death row are Frenchman Sergei Areski Atlaoui, Briton Lindsay Sandiford and Mary Jane Veloso of the Philippines. However, the AGO confirmed on Tuesday that Mary Jane Veloso will not be facing the firing squad in the third round of executions.

"We only have to set the execution date. That is what we are still unable to decide at this moment. As for the executions, we have never said that we would stop them, because the war on drugs will never end," Prasetyo said on Tuesday. He added that the government made the execution of drug convicts a priority.

The attorney general is still keeping the names of the inmates and dates of the execution a secret, saying only that his office will need to make sure that all of the death-row inmates' legal options have been exhausted.

Most of the inmates executed last year were foreigners, prompting a wave of international condemnation over Indonesia's use of capital punishment, as well as diplomatic pressure from many countries. After the execution, Australia temporarily recalled its ambassador to Indonesia.

Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (ICJR) director Supriyadi W Eddyono urged the government to cancel all executions, saying that there has been errors in some inmates' death-row verdicts. He gave the example of Zainal Abidin, whose dossier had been missing for a few years but then suddenly reappeared with a verdict ordering the death penalty.

Supriyadi also said that the AGO was unable to explain the method used to determine the order in which inmates are scheduled to be executed.

The next round of executions is set to take place at the notorious Nusa Kambangan prison island near Cilacap, Central Java, where 14 convicts, including Australia's so-called Bali Nine duo Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, were executed last year.

Source: Jakarta Globe, May 4, 2016

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