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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…

Indonesia secures release of man on death row in Saudi Arabia

Syarif Hidayat Anang (center), arrives in Jakarta after being spared from death row in Saudi Arabia.
Syarif Hidayat Anang (center) arrives in Jakarta after being spared
from death row in Saudi Arabia.
The Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh has secured the release of an Indonesian man who had been on death row in Saudi Arabia for alleged murder, the Foreign Ministry revealed.

The man, identified as Syarif Hidayat Anang, was arrested by Saudi authorities in 2013 on allegations of being complicit in the murder of another Indonesian citizen, Enah Nurhasan.

He was detained alongside three Saudi citizens in Ahsa in the country's east, according to a statement by the ministry's directorate for the protection of Indonesian nationals and entities abroad.

From the outset, the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh had provided legal assistance, having appointed Saudi lawyer Abdullah Al Mohaemeed to represent Syarif until 2015. 

Since May 2016, defense duties were taken over by Muhammad Ahmad al-Qarni, another legal adviser.

"From the results of an investigation into the case files by the Indonesian Embassy's protection team, we were certain that Syarif was not involved in the murder, and that's why we went all out to secure his release," Dede Rifai, the embassy's consular attaché who coordinated the legal efforts, said on Saturday.

Syarif was acquitted on all charges on Dec. 12 last year, while the remaining suspects remained on death row. 

He arrived in Jakarta late on Friday in the company of his legal adviser, following the issuance of his release earlier this week, the ministry revealed.

Source: The Jakarta Post, Tama Salim, January 7, 2017

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