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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…

Indonesian envoy explains execution of drug traffickers, other offenders

The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Harry Purwanto, has said his country reserves the right under international conventions to punish certain categories of crimes with death penalty.

Purwanto told The Guardian in Abuja yesterday that there were 16 legal regulations bordering on severe crimes against the country that attract the death sentence, which include terrorism, corruption as well as trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances.

There are also five legal stages peddlers of hard drugs and other psychotropic substances must go through before they are executed. He said Indonesia placed a moratorium on the death penalty until 2013 when it was reinstated after the drug challenge got worse with 4.5 million Indonesians undergoing rehabilitation.

The envoy added that “between 30,000 and 40,000 young Indonesians were dying because of drugs, but when President Joko Widodo was elected in 2014, he vowed not to grant clemency to anyone who was convicted of drugs in all six stages of the country’s legal process and has kept faith with that pledge.

He listed the processes drug suspects must go through before facing death to include the first court of trial, Appeal Court, Supreme Court, presidential clemency and the last stage which is a final review.

The envoy stated that Indonesia does not impose the death penalty in all cases except severe cases with serious impact on society. 

He debunked the claims that the country was a drugs hub, arguing that the hubs were elsewhere in Asia and the Americas.

On whether Nigerians are specifically targeted for execution for drugs related offences, Purwanto maintained that Indonesian laws are not discriminatory as Africans, Asians and Europeans have paid the ultimate price for trafficking in drugs in the country.

Purwanto disclosed that there are some Nigerians who have integrated into the Indonesian society and even married Indonesians but are serving 10 to 15 years in jail for drugs related offences.

Source: The Guardian, Igho Akeregha, Abuja Bureau Chief, April 6, 2017

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