Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

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…

Taiwanese drug smugglers lose final death sentence appeal in Indonesia

The Supreme Court of Indonesia on Friday upheld the death sentence against 3 Taiwanese men who were convicted last year of smuggling drugs into the country. 

In its ruling, the court said the crime committed by the 3 defendants would cause great harm to Indonesians, particularly young people.

Chen Chia-wei, Wang An-kang and Luo Chih-cheng, therefore, deserve capital punishment, the court ruled in its 2nd trial of the case.

According to the court documents, the 3 men were arrested at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in 2014 while attempting to smuggle 2 kilograms of amphetamine into the country from Hong Kong.

They were sentenced to death by a Jakarta district court last year but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment in an appeal to the High Court.

Prosecutors, however, appealed the High Court ruling and in January the Supreme Court sentenced the defendants to death.

The 3 defendants then filed an extraordinary appeal that was turned down Friday by the Supreme Court.

They are the 1st Taiwanese nationals to be sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug smuggling since that country's President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, took office 2 years ago.

Jokowi has taken strict measures to crack down on drug-related crimes, saying that drugs are destructive to young Indonesians and advocating the death penalty for convicted drug dealers.

The Indonesian government will show no mercy to anyone convicted of drug crimes, he said.

In August, a district court in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta sentenced 4 other Taiwanese to death for possession of 26 kg of amphetamine but they have since appealed the verdict.

Currently, some 30 Taiwanese nationals convicted of drug-related crimes are behind bars in Jakarta and Central Java, according to Indonesian authorities.

Source: focustaiwan.tw, November 13, 2016

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