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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…

Death penalty in Turkey would mean end to EU accession talks: Juncker

BERLIN — The European Union should continue accession negotiations with Turkey but a reintroduction of the death penalty would clearly put an end to the process, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of a campaign for EU membership.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said he will approve its reinstatement if parliament submits such a proposal or if the measure is backed in a referendum.

“I am not of the opinion that the accession negotiations with Turkey should be stopped now,” Juncker said in Berlin during a debate with students about the future of Europe.

Juncker offers a warning


European officials should still try to convince Turkey that it was in its own interest to adopt reforms and move towards Europe instead of turning away from the continent and its values, Juncker said.

“If Turkey will ever become a member state, I do not know,” Juncker said.

He said he recently made clear in a long conversation with Erdogan that a reintroduction of the death penalty in Turkey would be a red line in accession talks.

“I told him: If you reintroduce the death penalty, then it's time to end,” Juncker said.

Tensions are high


Tensions between Turkey and the EU are high over rights and security issues, but the bloc depends on the help of NATO ally Ankara on migration and the conflict in Syria.

After meeting European Council President Donald Tusk and Juncker last week in Brussels, Erdogan was quoted as saying he had been presented with a new 12-month timetable for renewing ties.

Source: Reuters, May 31, 2017

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