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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…

Delaware Supreme Court overturns past death penalty convictions

The 12 men on Delaware’s death row will not be executed. Instead, they’ll get life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Delaware Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that the state cannot go through with executing those on death row after they previously struck down the state’s capital punishment system.

Justices came to that decision in August after the U.S. Supreme Court said any death sentence must be fully in the hands of the jury.

Delaware’s system gave the final say to the presiding judge who weighed any mitigating or aggravating factors in the case after a jury’s vote.

The opinion came just over a week after justices heard the case in Dover, with some openly questioning the state’s argument to move ahead with these executions during the hearing.

Some state lawmakers are vowing to reinstate the death penalty during the next General Assembly, but it’s not clear if they have enough support to push such a measure through.

Governor-elect John Carney said he would “probably” veto such a bill if it got to his desk.

The state Department of Justice didn't immediately return a request for comment.

Source: Delaware Public Media, James Dawson, December 15, 2016

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