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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…

On death row, a whisper saved his life. He still does not know why

Death-row cells on Nusakambangan penal island
Death-row cells on Nusakambangan penal island, where Indonesia
carries out executions by firing squad. 
Jakarta: Minutes before Indian truck driver Gurdip Singh was due to be killed by a firing squad the power went out in his cell on Indonesia's penal island Nusakambangan.

Four men had already been taken out to the killing field. Singh, who was sentenced to death for carrying 300 grams of heroin when arrested at the airport, was number five.

"They came, I said 'let me take a shower first'," Singh told Fairfax Media from Pasir Putih prison on Nusakambangan.

"After I was ready, they prayed for me, the officer placed the handcuffs on one of my hands when suddenly the power went out."

It was pitch black, outside the rain was torrential. When the power came back on Singh saw the prison governor walk towards them. "The prison governor said it to my ear: 'Singh, it is cancelled'."

Singh was among 14 convicted drug felons who were due to be shot dead on July 29 last year. Ten of them received a dramatic last minute reprieve for reasons never properly explained.

"It is still not clear until now why," Singh says. "No one told me why."

A year later there are still no answers. No official stay of execution has been granted.

"This situation has affected mental and physical health conditions of those who were spared," says a joint statement by human rights groups submitted to the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review of Indonesia earlier this year.

Fairfax Media asked the Indonesian Attorney-General's office if there are any plans for executions this year.

"The Attorney-General has repeatedly said that we are still studying the cases thoroughly," spokesman Muhammad Rum replied.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Jewel Topsfield, Amilia Rosa, August 14, 2017

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