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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…

Ukraine: Paedophiles to be chemically castrated with injections under new laws

Behind bars
The legislation will affect thousands of men aged between 18 and 65 found guilty of raping or sexually abusing minors.

Ukrinform news agency says the measure “involves the forced injection of anti-androgen drugs consisting of chemicals that should reduce libido and sexual activity”.

And it is described as “coercive chemical castration”.

In 2017, figures showed 321 child rapes in Ukraine but the number of paedophile sex abuse cases are understood to run into the thousands.

National police chief Vyacheslav Abroskin said this week: "Five children were raped in four regions of Ukraine…. within just 24 hours.

“And these are the crimes which parents reported to police despite their fear and anxiety to do so. 

"We can only guess how many latent sexual crimes against children we have in the country.”

In one harrowing case, Daria Lukyanenko, 11, was killed after she “fought back” against an alleged rape attempt by family friend Nikolay Tarasov, 22.

Her body was then found following a six-day search in a village cesspool.

Hundreds attended the funeral and the suspect’s mum, Maria, “disowned” her son before his home was besieged by angry locals.

Under the new laws, Ukraine is also to set up a public register of paedophiles jailed for child rape and sexual abuse of minors. 

Such criminals will be monitored for life by police after release from jail.

In another move, the maximum jail term for raping a child was increased from 12 to 15 years.

The laws involving children was passed at a special session of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament. 

Radical Party leader Oleg Lyashko who proposed the castration move said: "Ukrainian law does not have a life term or death penalty for sex crimes against children.

"And it is very unlikely that the rapist would not be back to his ‘business’ again after release from jail."

Fellow ex-Soviet state, Kazakhstan, also permits the chemical castration of sex offenders.

Ukraine did not specify the chemical cocktail it will use.

Urologist, Dr Mirzakhmet Zhanadilov, said such methods cause “the lowering of libido”.

Source: dailystar.co.uk, David Rivers, July 12, 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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