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

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…

‘She will be a resident of heaven’: Saudi ambassador says migrant worker Tuty Tursilawati’s sins absolved after execution

Indonesian migrant worker Tuty Tursilawati
The Oct. 29 execution of Indonesian migrant worker Tuty Tursilawati by Saudi Arabian authorities, which was carried out without any prior notice to the Indonesian government and her family, added another red mark to the Middle Eastern kingdom’s long list of human rights violations as well as causing outrage in Indonesia.

As reported by Kumparan, Saudi’s ambassador to Indonesia, Osama bin Mohammed Abdullah Al Shuaibi, spoke publicly for the first time about Tuty’s execution today and used religious reasoning to justify her killing.

“She has been purified, alhamdulillah (praise God). She served her punishment on earth. [After receiving her death sentence] she had a lot of time to turn to Allah. Inshallah (God willing) she will be a resident of heaven,” Osama said at the Saudi embassy in Jakarta.

Tuty was one of 16 Indonesian nationals on death row in Saudi Arabia. She was arrested in 2010 and then sentenced to death in 2011 for the murder of her employer, but she claimed she was acting in self-defense to protect herself from sexual abuse.

But Osama denied the claim, saying Tuty wasn’t raped, because apparently, old men can’t rape.

“I want to set the record straight about the murder. She didn’t do it to protect herself. The victim was 80 years old, logically it wouldn’t be possible for him to rape,” Osama said.

Osama added that the execution, carried out on Oct. 29, was done in accordance to Islamic-based Saudi law, therefore it was the best possible outcome for Tuty in spiritual terms.

“We have lost two people, the 80-year-old victim and the woman (Tuty). She already served her punishment on earth. Inshallah, she will get to heaven.”

Previously, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s Migrant Workers’ Protection Director Lalu Muhammad Iqbal stated that Tuti was sentenced with had ghilah (planned assassination) so the death sentence couldn’t be retracted even if the victim’s family had pardoned her.

Despite Indonesia’s pleas, Lalu said that Saudi Arabia and Indonesia do not have a mandatory consular notification agreement obligating either country to warn the other about legal trouble their citizens are facing abroad.

In March of this year, another Indonesian migrant worker, Zaini Misrin, was also executed in Saudi Arabia without prior notice to Indonesian officials.

Zaini’s execution temporarily strengthened Indonesia’s conviction to resume its moratorium on migrant workers being sent to the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. However, on Oct. 11, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia entered into an agreement on a pilot project to send a limited number of Indonesian migrant workers to the kingdom under the promise of better protection, thereby bypassing the moratorium, which was introduced in 2015.

Migrant workers advocacy group Migrant Care has urged the Indonesian government to scrap the agreement to send Indonesian migrant workers to the kingdom in limited numbers, following Tuty’s execution.

Source: coconuts.co, Nadia Hamid, November 9, 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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