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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' Mary Jane Veloso Will Not Be in the Next Round of Executions

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
Jakarta. A woman from the Philippines convicted in Indonesia for drug smuggling and sentenced to death will not be among the first round of executions carried out when capital punishment is resumed after a lull, the attorney general said on Friday (22/7).

Indonesia imposed a moratorium on executions for five years before resuming them in 2013. It provoked international outrage in April last year with the execution of eight drug traffickers, seven of them foreigners.

After the outcry, authorities said they were postponing executions while the government focussed on reviving he economy. But President Joko Widodo’s administration has this year pledged to resume executions by firing squad.

A Philippine maid, Mary Jane Veloso, got a last-minute reprieve last year, following a request from Manila after an employment recruiter, whom Veloso had accused of planting drugs in her luggage, gave herself up to police in the Philippines.

“Not yet,” Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo told reporters when asked about Veloso.

“We are still waiting on the legal process in the Philippines, which we have to respect.”

Prasetyo has said 16 prisoners will be executed this year, including nationals from Nigeria and Zimbabwe, but has declined to give a specific time frame. That number will be more than doubled next year, he said.

Indonesia has declared a “drug emergency” and vowed no mercy for drug traffickers.

Authorities have not given a breakdown of the numbers of foreigners on death row but citizens of France, Britain and the Philippines are known to be among them.

Source: Reuters, July 22, 2016


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