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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…

Malaysia: 1,122 Still On Death Row

Malaysia is ranked 10th among 23 countries that apply the death sentence worldwide, according to the 2016 Death Sentences and Executions Report by Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM).

AIM executive director K. Shamini Darshni said Malaysia recorded 9 executions as of last year with 1,122 individuals currently on death row.

"The Home Ministry had in October, last year, informed Parliament that Malaysia executed 6 people in 2014, 1 in 2015 and 9 as of September 2016.

"The disclosure was the 1st time the annual breakdown of executions has been given in recent memory and has provided an insight into the magnitude and true extent of Malaysia's use of the death penalty," she told reporters during the presentation of the report here today.

According to the report, 829 have been sentenced to death since 2010, while 95 others had received pardons or had their death sentences commuted during the same period.

The government had stated that as of April 30, 2016, 1,042 people comprising 629 Malaysians and 413 foreign nationals were sentenced to death due to murder, drug trafficking, firearms trafficking or kidnapping.

"Of these, 649 prisoners had legal appeals pending, while 393 were seeking pardon," she said.

Shamini further said despite draft legislation to reform death penalty laws in the country which was announced in November 2015, it has yet to be introduced in Parliament.

"On March 23, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said had announced that the government was looking to allow judges sentencing discretion in drug trafficking cases where the mandatory death penalty is currently applied.

"However, while the move could result in a significant reduction in the use of the death penalty, the authorities should not limit reform to drug trafficking offences only," she said.

Citing the hurried execution of brothers B. Rames and B. Suthar on March 15 while their clemency applications were still pending, Shamini called on the government to establish a moratorium on all executions as a 1st step towards full abolition of the death penalty.

Source: malaysiandigest.com, April 12, 2017

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