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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…

Dylann Roof: Charleston shooter won't offer evidence to spare life

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof
A white supremacist who killed nine black worshippers in a church in South Carolina will offer no evidence to spare his own life at a hearing.

Dylann Roof told a judge he plans on calling no witnesses when jurors decide next week decide whether he will face life in prison or the death penalty.

Roof, 22, was found guilty on 33 counts, including federal hate crimes, earlier this month.

His 2015 attack, carried out during a Bible study session, shocked the US.

Among his victims were pastors, recent graduates, librarians and coaches.

Roof later told police he wanted to start a race war with his attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, and he was photographed holding the Civil War battle flag, which to many is a symbol of hate.

He is acting as his own lawyer in the final stage of his trial, after dismissing his defence team.

But District Judge Richard Gergel advised Roof to talk to his grandfather, who is a lawyer, and other family members one last time before the trial begins.

Judge Gergel added Roof can change his mind and bring back his attorneys up until opening statements next week.

Serial killer Ted Bundy, Washington-area sniper John Allen Muhammed and Fort Hood attacker Nidal Hasan also acted as their own lawyers, but ended up with death sentences.

According to the Post and Courier, the prosecution has a list of more than 30 possible witnesses to present.

Source: BBC News, december 28, 2016

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