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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 ranked 10th in use of death penalty, says Amnesty International

Malaysia was placed 10th among the world's top executioners after carrying out 9 death sentences last year, human rights watchdog Amnesty International Malaysia (AI-M) said in its report.

AI-M Executive Director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said the number of executions in Malaysia has also considerably increased from the previous years, according to the Death Sentences and Executions Report 2016 launched today.

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

"The disclosure was the 1st time executions have been disaggregated by year in recent memory and the revelation provided an insight into the magnitude and true extent of Malaysia's use of the death penalty," she told reporters here.

According to the report, 23 countries were known to have carried out executions. China lead the list of top executioners, followed by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan.

However, she praised Malaysia for being "slightly more" transparent with death penalty data, after urging Putrajaya to do so over the years.

"The October announcement proved that Malaysia has been executing more than we were previously aware of. The government should continue to make public information on the death penalty while it is still in use," she said.

In the previous parliamentary session, minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said revealed that the government had agreed to review Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and allow courts to decide on the penalty for drug offences.

Currently, the law only provides for one sentence for those convicted of drug-related offences - death.

While the government has agreed to review drug laws in the country, it should also explore its options in entirely abolishing the death penalty, Shamini said.

"On March 15, the hurried double executions of brothers Rames and Suthar Batumalai while clemency application was still pending is symbolic of the lack of transparency that surrounds executions in Malaysia.

"It is a perfect example of why the death penalty must be abolished in totality. The government must go further and immediately establish a moratorium on all executions as first steps towards full abolition of the death penalty."

Source: Yahoo News, April 11, 2017

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