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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…

Texas death-row inmate Ivan Cantu loses Supreme Court appeal

Ivan Cantu
Ivan Cantu
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review an appeal from a Dallas man who shot and killed his cousin in a botched 2000 robbery and is now on death row.

Ivan Cantu, 44, had argued that his legal help during his 2001 trial was ineffective and didn't present evidence that proved his innocence.

The Supreme Court made no comment Monday regarding its decision.

Cantu was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death on Oct. 16, 2001, for the slaying of his cousin, James Mosqueda, 27, in Far North Dallas.

He also was indicted in the slaying of Amy Kitchen, 22, Mosqueda's girlfriend.

During the trial, one of Cantu's former girlfriends, Amy Boettcher, testified that he had told her of his plans to kill Mosqueda and showed her the bodies after the act.

Boettcher also said that when she saw Cantu on the night of the murder, his socks and pants were bloody. Tests showed that the blood on his clothing belonged to Mosqueda.

Additionally, police found Mosqueda's car at Cantu's apartment complex. Investigators also found the murder weapon — with Cantu's fingerprints on the magazine — at the home of another of Cantu's ex-girlfriends.

Sources: Dallas News, Associated Press, June 19, 2017

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