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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…

Nebraska: Anti-death penalty group distributes audio clip of Lt. Gov. Mike Foley's remarks against death penalty

Nebraska Governor (R) Pete Ricketts
Nebraska Governor (R) Pete Ricketts
The group campaigning to permanently end the death penalty in Nebraska has released an audio clip of Gov. Pete Ricketts’ lieutenant governor voicing his opposition to it in 2014.

Then-State Auditor Mike Foley was running for governor at the time and was explaining during a debate why he opposed capital punishment, a position that would place him at odds with the eventual winner, Ricketts.

Voters are being asked to decide whether to ratify the Legislature’s repeal of capital punishment.

The group, Retain a Just Nebraska, on Tuesday distributed audio of Foley from that March 2014 debate.

“We don’t have a functioning capital punishment system today in Nebraska,” Foley was recorded saying. “Yet we’re spending millions of dollars pretending that we can execute people. We can’t do it. We don’t have the drug protocol in place, we don’t have the legal structures in place to carry out that objective.”

Ricketts has been a strong proponent of the death penalty and has invested his own money in seeing it restored.

On Tuesday, Foley said in a statement that he would defer to Ricketts. “The Governor sets policy, and he has been clear that his administration supports keeping the death penalty as an option for the most heinous crimes in Nebraska,” Foley wrote.





Source: Omaha World-Herald, November 2, 2016

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