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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…

China "strictly controls death penalty:" white paper

Rehearsing execution procedure in China
Rehearsing execution procedure in China
BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- China strictly controls the death penalty and employs it with prudence, said a white paper on judical protection of human rights issued on Monday.

The white paper, titled "New Progress in the Judicial Protection of Human Rights in China," said China's stand on the death penalty is to ensure that it applies only to a very small number of extremely serious criminal offenders.

China in 2011 adopted the Amendment (VIII) to the Criminal Law which abolishes the death penalty for 13 economy-related, non-violent offenses.

The Amendment (IX) to the Criminal Law, adopted in 2015, also reduced the number of crimes for capital punishment, abolishing the death penalty for nine areas of crime. It also extended the possibility of reprieve in cases of capital sentence.

In death penalty cases, the defendant's right to defense and other legitimate rights and interests are fully protected, as hearings are held for all death penalty cases of second instance, the white paper said.

When the Supreme People's Court reviews a death penalty case, it focuses on interrogating the defendant in accordance with the law, and listening to opinions of the defense counsel, according to the white paper.

It also said China took special actions against human trafficking and made important progress in combating trafficking in women and children.

A mechanism for quickly searching for missing children has been put in place around the country, under which police resources are fully mobilized to quickly find missing children, it said.

A uniform operation of thorough search and investigation for children of unknown origin has been carried out nationwide, in which DNA information of children suspected of being the victims of abduction is collected and recorded into a national DNA database for comparison.

Source: Xinhua, Sept. 12, 2016

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