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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…

Indonesian government refuses to implement moratorium on death penalty

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo
Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo
Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo indicated that Indonesia would continue to execute convicts when he confirmed that the government would not implement a moratorium on the death penalty despite mounting calls from human rights groups.

He hinted that there would soon be a fourth round of executions.

"We never said we would implement a moratorium," Prasetyo said. "We are considering many aspects," he added.

Prasetyo made the statement in response to a question raised by United Development Party (PPP) politician Arsul Sani, who asked him to give updates on the government's execution plans during a meeting at the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

Arsul asked about the fate of more than 100 death row convicts in regard to ongoing discussions between the government and lawmakers on making the death penalty an alternative sentence as stipulated in the Criminal Code (KUHP) draft revision.

The bill, which is being deliberated at the House, softens the government's stance on capital punishment as it stipulates that the punishment can be reduced to life imprisonment.

Article 89 of the bill states "the death penalty should be the last option taken to protect the public." It is elaborated further in Article 91, which says convicts may have their sentences reduced if they behave well during their imprisonment. The bill does not define the guidelines of death penalty assessments or stipulate institutions authorized to make such assessments.

"If the revised KUHP takes effect while we still have death row convicts, we will comply with this new law," Prasetyo said.

Source: The Jakarta Post, April 12, 2017

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