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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…

Council of Europe warns Turkey over death penalty restoration plans

The Council of Europe warned Turkey against re-establishing the death penalty on Oct. 30.

"Executing the death penalty is incompatible with membership of the Council of Europe," the 47-member organization, which includes Turkey, tweeted a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government would ask parliament to consider reintroduction.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz added to the Council's warning, denouncing Turkey for considering a move that would "slam the door shut to the European Union."

"The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment, which has to be abolished worldwide and stands in clear contradiction to European values," Kurz told the Austrian Press Agency.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland had in August warned Ankara about reinstating capital punishment, noting that the European Convention on Human Rights, which Turkey has ratified, clearly excluded it.

The Convention, signed in 1983, excludes capital punishment except in time of war or imminent threat of war and a 2002 protocol ended the time-of-war proviso.

Capital punishment soon if parliament approves it, Erdogan tells crowd in Ankara


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his decision to approve the installment of capital punishment if the parliament approves a related code while responding to chantings from the crowd at the opening of a main train station for high-speed trains in the capital city of Ankara on Oct. 29.

"Soon, soon, don't worry," Erdogan said, in response to a group in the crowd chanting "We want death penalty."

"It is soon inshallah," he said.

"Our government will bring this [issue] to the parliament and I believe that it will pass the parliament. I will approve it when it comes to me."

"If sovereignty rests with the nation, the issue is over," he said.

"It doesn't count what the West says but my nation," the president said.

Capital punishment has not been implemented in Turkey since 1984 and it was abolished officially in 2004.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, October 30, 2016

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