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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…

Philippines: House panel approves revival of death penalty

Capital punishment recommended for illegal drugs, murder, rape, arson, kidnapping

The House of Representatives' justice committee will soon start deliberating on a bill to reinstate the death penalty, after a sub-panel approved the proposal on Tuesday.

During a hearing by the judicial reforms subcommittee, 6 congressmen voted to submit a substitute bill re-imposing capital punishment for heinous crimes, such as illegal drugs, murder, rape, arson, and kidnapping.

Another 5 voted for a version of the proposal that would have limited the death penalty to illegal drug-related crimes.

After the hearing, the measure will be forwarded to the mother committee. Once approved, it will be brought to the plenary for debates.

The reimposition of capital punishment is 1 of the House's priority measures (the other being the proposal to revert the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 9) which Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said would be passed before the Christmas break of Congress.

The imposition of death penalty was prohibited in 2006 after then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act No. 9346 into law. 

The penalty for offenses previously punishable by death was downgraded to reclusion perpetua or life imprisonment.

Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman, who was one of the lawmakers who passed the bill that abolished death penalty, reiterated on Tuesday that the House has been "railroading" its revival.

"In other words, the message of the House leadership is: 'have a deadly Christmas,'" Lagman said in a briefing.

Source: newsinfo.inquirer.net, November 29, 2016

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