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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…

China: Four executed for drug trafficking

Chinese police officers
rehearsing execution procedure
June 26, 2012: China executed four convicted drug traffickers and sentenced at least 15 others to death as the nation marked global anti-drug day, state press reported.

Courts in four Chinese provinces sentenced a total of 117 people for drug trafficking on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Xinhua news agency said.

Three Taiwanese men - Chen Tien-lu, Hsu Fu-tai and Wang Chen-tsung - were executed in southeast China's Fujian province after being convicted of smuggling methamphetamine, also known as ice, across the Taiwan strait, the report said.

Another man was executed in northeast China's Jilin province after being convicted of trafficking four kilogrammes (8.8 pounds) of the same substance, it said.

Of the 15 convicted drug traffickers sentenced to death, nine were given a two-year reprieve, meaning their sentences will likely be commuted to life in prison if they behave during that period.

"Chinese courts nationwide have been carrying out public trials over drug trafficking or destroying drugs to make people aware of the harms of drugs," Xinhua said of the anti-drug day.

Sources: Agence France-Presse, Taipei Times, June 26, 2012

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