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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…

Philippines: Senators won't reimpose death penalty just to accommodate next president

Some senators frowned yesterday on the idea of putting a sunset provision on the proposed restoration of the death penalty, saying lawmakers should vote on the measure based on their convictions.

Incoming Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson said the 17th Congress should not pass the measure reimposing the death penalty for just the 6-year duration of the incoming administration only to satisfy President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte as he goes all out in his campaign against illegal drugs and syndicated crime.

Lacson said he does not believe reimposing the death penalty only during the 6-year term of Duterte would be feasible.

"I don't agree. The Senate is a self-respecting institution and should not legislate to please the incumbent president of the Philippines, which obviously is what will be projected to our people if we include a sunset provision limiting the effectivity of the proposed legislation on the restoration of the death penalty," Lacson said in a text message.

"My take is, either we vote for or against the measure once it reaches the Senate floor depending on our own conviction but definitely not to accommodate the President of the Republic," he said.

It was Sen. Ralph Recto who earlier proposed that death penalty be restored but only during the 6 years of the Duterte administration.

For his part, Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III said he sees no need for a sunset provision on the measure since laws can be repealed.

"That's a novel approach, but we might open new debates about that on the constitutionality of the provisions," Pimentel said in an interview over DWIZ.

Source: Manila Bulletin, June 14, 2016

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