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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…

Mary Jane Veloso’s lawyers to seek SC nod on deposition

Mary Jane Veloso
Mary Jane Veloso
The camp of Filipino death row inmate Mary Jane Veloso would elevate to the Supreme Court (SC) its plea to allow the deposition of testimony against her alleged recruiters from her jail cell in Indonesia.

According to National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL) president Edre Olalia, they would file the petition questioning the Court of Appeals' action against the deposition in the first week of June.

"We are preparing the petition," Olalia said in a text message on Friday.

Veloso's testimony was supposed to be gathered on April 27 in Yogyakarta prison but the CA 11th Division came out last March with a temporary restraining order (TRO) whose validity was extended through a preliminary injunction issued on May 22.

The CA action stemmed from the petition filed by the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), counsel for Veloso's recruiter Maria Cristina Sergio and her live-in partner Julius Lacanilao, who said the deposition was against the constitutional right of the accused.

The PAO cited Section 14 paragraph 2 of the Bill of Rights, which gives, among others, an accused the right to a speedy, impartial, and public trial and meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence.

"The recruiters assert that they want to confront her in person yet they themselves oppose and put all roadblocks every step of the way to make this happen," Olalia said.

Veloso was sentenced to die by firing squad in April 2015 after she was found guilty of drug trafficking, but Indonesian authorities agreed to hold off the execution so she could testify in the case against her recruiters in the Philippines.

Source: GMA News, Virgil Lopez, May 26, 2017

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