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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…

Turkey: Erdogan Renews Call for the Death Penalty

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his support for the death penalty, saying its reinstatement would fulfill the wishes of the Turkish majority.

At a rally Sunday in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, Erdogan told hundreds of people his remarks were also directed at members of the Turkish parliament.

"I am now conveying your request once again," Erdogan said of the death penalty. "They should assess this issue and make a decision. I would approve that decision."

Erdogan, who traveled to Gaziantep to express condolences to the families of the 54 people who were killed last weekend at a Kurdish wedding, has pushed to reinstate the death penalty in the wake of last month's failed coup against him.

Erdogan's calls for its reinstatement have become more frequent since the July 15 coup attempt as he carries out a massive purge of those suspected of taking part it in it.

The purge has mostly targeted members of the military, police and intelligence services, journalists, and academics belonging to the outlawed movement headed by cleric Fethullah Gulen, a U.S. resident. Tens of thousands have been arrested or suspended from their jobs.

Amnesty International has urged Erdogan to exercise restraint as he pushes to legalize executions in the country for the first time since 2004. The human rights group has said it is “alarmed” by his calls for capitol punishment, which the group sees as a clear suggestion that the death penalty would be used to punish those responsible for the coup attempt.

More than 200 people were killed in the failed coup, some of them by mutinying soldiers who fired at civilians taking to the streets to stop the coup.

Source: VOA, August 28, 2016

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