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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…

Former top Chinese cop Zhao Liping executed for murder

Former top Chinese cop Zhao Liping
Top Chinese cop Zhao Liping executed for murder
A former regional police chief in China was executed for murder, state media said Friday, after reports described his victim as a lover more than three decades his junior.

Zhao Liping, 65, was found guilty of murder, bribery and possession of firearms and explosives by a court in Taiyuan, the capital of the northern province of Shanxi, in November.

China’s supreme court announced Friday that Zhao had been executed after it approved the sentence, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

China carries out executions by lethal injection or shooting, but the method used this time was not specified.

Zhao was detained in 2015 in Chifeng on suspicion of killing a 28-year-old woman with whom he “had an intimate relationship” because she wanted to expose his wrongdoings, Chinese media reported earlier.

Zhao opened fire on the woman, who reportedly survived the first two rounds, but after she fled he chased her down in a car and shot her in the head.

Zhao headed the police in Inner Mongolia for seven years until he retired in 2012, and was also a deputy head of the regional People’s Political Consultative Conference, a Communist-controlled debating chamber.

Many fallen Chinese officials have been found to have mistresses, and corruption investigations have often been triggered by allegations from spurned or angry women.

Source: Hong Kong Free Press, May 26, 2017


Former Chinese official executed following supreme court's approval


CHINA'S Supreme People's Court (SPC) announced Friday that Zhao Liping, a former senior political advisor in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, had been executed after the SPC approved the death sentence.

Zhao, former vice chairman of the Inner Mongolia regional committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was convicted of intentional homicide, taking bribes and possession of firearms, according to an SPC statement.

Zhao was found guilty of having shot dead a 26-year old woman, identified only with her surname of Li, in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia, on March 20, 2015.

He also took advantage of his post to secure business contracts and official positions for associates, and accepted bribes totaling 23.68 million yuan (3.45 million U.S. dollars) from 2008 to 2010, as the police chief of Inner Mongolia.

During the investigation police located two guns, 49 bullets and 91 detonators that led back to Zhao.

The SPC stated that the death penalty was given on the basis of clear facts and solid and sufficient evidence. Zhao had committed crimes with serious consequences and vile social effects.

The Intermediate People's Court of Taiyuan in north China's Shanxi Province executed Zhao Friday.

Source: Shanghai Daily, May 26, 2017

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