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Did Texas execute an innocent man? Film revisits a haunting question.

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Texans will have an opportunity to revisit a question that should haunt anyone who believes in the integrity of our criminal justice system: Did our state execute an innocent man? 
The new film “Trial by Fire” tells the true story of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was sentenced to death for setting a fire to his home in Corsicana that killed his three young daughters in 1991. The film is based on an investigative story by David Grann that appeared in the New Yorker in 2009, five years after Willingham was executed over his vociferous protestations of innocence.
In my experience of serving 8 years on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and 4 years as a state district judge in Travis County, the Willingham case stands out to me for many of the same reasons it stood out to filmmaker Edward Zwick, who calls it a veritable catalogue of everything that’s wrong with the criminal justice system and, especially, the death penalty. False testimony, junk science, a jailhouse informant, and ineffe…

Japan: Death penalty for ex-caregiver for killing 3 elderly nursing home residents

Hayato Imai
A court in Japan has sentenced a former care worker to death for killing 3 elderly residents at a nursing home in Kawasaki, near Tokyo.

Yokohama District Court on Thursday found 25-year-old Hayato Imai guilty of murdering the 3 victims by pushing them from the balconies of their rooms.

Prosecutors had sought the death penalty in the trial.

The 3 residents all died in 2014. 

They were an 87-year-old man and 2 women, aged 86 and 96.

The judges in the trial ruled that the victims would have been physically incapable of climbing over the balcony railings by themselves. 

They ruled out the possibility that the deaths were suicides or accidents.

The ruling also rejected the possibility that other staff members had committed the crimes.

The judges added that Imai's confession during police interrogation, in which he admitted to killing the 3 people, was credible.

Imai's lawyer had maintained that he was not guilty, pointing out the lack of objective evidence, and arguing that the deaths could have been suicides or accidents.

The lawyer also claimed that Imai's confession was coerced, and has filed an appeal against the ruling to a higher court.

Source: nhk.or.jp, March 22, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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