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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…

Thailand: PM Changes His Mind on Death Sentences for Rapists

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha
Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has now decided he does not support calls for the death penalty for rapists.

Only last month he ordered the legal community and judiciary to ensure that convicted rapists are sentenced to death saying, 'foreign countries tackle rape cases by resorting to capital punishment.' He asked 'is it possible in Thailand? The judicial sector must undertake this.'

Since then, and in the wake of the murder of a young teacher in Saraburi, there has been public support for the idea. And calls for the Criminal Code to be amended to reflect this and condemn those guilty of rape to death. But now the Prime Minister says he does not support this idea anymore.

He has explained that many countries have repealed laws such as this as they have been shown not to act as an effective deterrent. 'Let's look at the world around us,' he said. 'Many countries have already abolished the death penalty. They do not 'promote respect for the law and in solving the problem at hand in a sustainable fashion.'

The leader of the Thai military has warned that the death penalty for rape cases may result in an abuse of power and would rather see convicted rapists exposed to social pressures in order to discourage them from committing similar crimes again.

He might have added that long jail sentences could also discourage such repeated offences.

The Deputy Prime Minister, and Defence Minister General, Prawit Wongsuwan, has only said that public opinion and legal counsel from experts will need to be taken into account when a final decision is taken by the National Legislative Assembly.

Source: Pattaya News, July 5, 2016

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