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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…

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Alabama's request to vacate Vernon Madison's stay of execution

Vernon Madison
Vernon Madison
BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court in 4-4 vote rejects Alabama's request to vacate Vernon Madison's stay of execution, meaning that Mr. Madison will not be executed as scheduled tonight.

The United States Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's order staying the execution of Alabama death row inmate Vernon Madison.

This morning, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals postponed the execution, which was scheduled to take place today.

EJI lawyers asked the court to stay Mr. Madison's execution because he is incompetent to be executed. 

As a result of multiple strokes over the last year, and other serious medical conditions, Mr. Madison suffers from vascular dementia, which has left him unable to rationally understand why the State is seeking to execute him. 

Mr. Madison now speaks in a slurred manner, is legally blind, and can no longer walk independently as a consequence of damage to his brain.

It is unconstitutional to execute an individual who is mentally incompetent. The Eleventh Circuit ordered a stay so that it could properly consider the claim that his execution would violate the constitution.

The State of Alabama asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Eleventh Circuit's order, but the Court instead upheld the lower court's order.

Source: EJI, May 12, 2016

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