Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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…

Reprieve: Juveniles on Death Row Project

Seeing a child with a noose around their neck would make anyone turn away in horror. It's not something most people imagine is still happening. But it's likely there are hundreds of prisoners on death rows around the world who were detained as children - potentially as many as 800 in Pakistan alone.

Thousands of Reprieve supporters have already taken action to save the lives of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt and Ali Al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia - both sentenced to death for attending political protests when they were children. Now we want to make sure other kids like them never end up on the world's death rows. Here's how we're going to do it together.

We're launching our dedicated Juveniles on Death Row Project - to find those detained as children who are now languishing on death row, and stop their executions. Together we can save many lives, but we urgently need extra funds to get this new project off the ground.

All donations to Reprieve are being matched and will make twice the difference

Act now - double your donation, double your impact.

We know what a huge difference we can make on the ground, so your support right now will go a long way. Recently, a prisoner in Malawi was freed on the day of his court hearing after Reprieve staff found that his mental health assessment listed his age as 17, and even took place on the children's wing. He had been sentenced to death after the police beat him and forced him to sign a forged 'confession'.

But cases like this often just fall through the cracks - unless we're there to pick them up. With the funds we raise right now, we can work with our local partners to locate juveniles who are facing execution, investigate their cases and provide lawyers to take their cases to court. We can expose countries where children are being sentenced to death. We can save lives right now, and together we can apply public and legal pressure to stop it for good.

Our Juveniles on Death Row Project is new and will be entirely funded by our supporters. Will you join those taking the lead in getting this project off the ground by making a donation now?

All prisoners facing execution are at risk of extreme human rights abuses, but children are particularly vulnerable and in need of our help. They often face torture to extract false confessions and being put on trial for their life without proper legal representation. They end up on death row in adult prisons where conditions are brutal. They face years on death row, then the hangman's noose or the executioner's sword.

Anyone who cares about justice will agree that death row is no place for any child - so let's make sure we stop it for good.

We have the law and public opinion on our side. The execution of people arrested as children is banned under international law and even domestic law in many countries - which gives us the chance to save lives right now and reduce execution rates worldwide.

We know we can make a difference when we're on the ground - and with your donations our Juveniles on Death Row Project can get our team to the frontline and increase our presence where we're needed most.

Thank you to everyone who donates right now to help make this happen.

Matched Funding - how it works

A group of Reprieve's generous supporters have put together a pot of 30,000 pounds to match any donations to Reprieve up to that amount - meaning that we can raise a total of 60,000 pounds to fund our work.

It's simple - the more donations we receive, the more of the matched fund we will get, and the more people we can help.

Source: reprieve.org.uk, June 2016

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