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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…

Belarusian Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence In Double-Murder Case

Alyaksandr Asipovich
The Belarusian Supreme Court has upheld a death sentence for a man convicted of murdering 2 women, despite calls from the European Union for Minsk bring an end to capital punishment.

The court pronounced its decision in the case against Alyaksandr Asipovich on May 14.

Human rights activist Andrey Paluda, who coordinates the Rights Defenders against Capital Punishment campaign, told RFE/RL that Asipovich had a right to appeal the court's decision at the United Nations' Human Rights Committee.

Paluda maintains that Asipovich's right to a fair trial was violated.

Under Belarusian law, Asipovich has 10 days to file a request for clemency from President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Asipovich's mother told RFE/RL that her son planned to request clemency.

The 36-year-old Asipovich has previous convictions for theft, robbery, hooliganism, and inflicting bodily harm.

He was convicted and sentenced to death on January 9 for the murders in 2018 of 2 women in the eastern city of Babruysk.

Belarus has drawn criticism from rights activists and EU states as the only European country that carries out the death penalty.

For years, the EU has urged Belarus to join other countries in declaring a moratorium on capital punishment.

According to rights organizations, more than 400 people have been sentenced to death in Belarus since it gained independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Human rights groups say Belarus carried out 1 execution in January, 1 in November, and 2 executions in May 2018.

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Staff, May 15, 2019


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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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