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Cameron Todd Willingham, Texas, and the death penalty

Cameron Todd Willingham, Texas, and the death penalty
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!” Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Diane raced down the street to get help he found a stick and broke the children’s bedroom window. “No. Related:  US law enforcement & criminal justiceJustice for all except

Are Memphis Prosecutors Trying to Send an Innocent Man Back to Death Row? On Christmas night, 1997, Crumpy’s Comedy Club in North Memphis hosted a party sponsored by a local barbershop, Magic Clippers. The club had opened that spring, attracting popular black comedians like Bruce Bruce, D.L. Hughley and Earthquake. That night, hundreds of revelers came for jazz, blues and stand-up, and the celebration went long past midnight. About the Author Liliana Segura Liliana Segura is Associate Editor of The Nation. Also by the Author A new ACLU report shows the staggering number of prisoners serving life without parole. Paul Butler used to send people to prison for drugs. But it would end in tragedy. Williams’s death shook the community, particularly Donald Crump, the owner of Crumpy’s. Around 1 am on the night of the shooting, Crump had ordered a drunken man out of the club. Williams was still alive on December 27, when Crump received word that police were arresting the shooter near the South Memphis restaurant where he was working. McKinney was tried in 1999.

Woman who recorded Massachusetts police beating charged with illegal wiretapping Michaelann sez, "Four Springfield Mass police officers beat Melvin Jones in 2009 and the incident was captured on videotape by a resident. Now, one of the four officers involved, who was suspended for 45 days, is seeking a criminal complaint against the woman for illegal wiretapping. This article has a link to the original video, where the woman doing the taping pretty much said everything I would have said-- "strong language." The woman will be in court on Wednesday and some members of my group, Arise for Social Justice, will be there to support her." Police Sgt. Videographer of alleged Melvin Jones beating could be charged with illegal wiretapping (Thanks, Michaelann!)

Walking In Their Footsteps At A Former Japanese Internment Camp : Code Switch The Manzanar cemetery includes a white obelisk monument in the midst of a wide clearing, making it feel lonely. Melissa Hung for NPR hide caption toggle caption Melissa Hung for NPR From the car seat, the toddler, almost three years old, asked his parents what we were doing. We were in the parking lot at Manzanar National Historic Site. I sat next to the toddler in the back of the car. Fifteen years have passed since the magazine's founding. So in early April, 75 years after Franklin D. The military-style camps were intentionally located in remote areas. Two reconstructed buildings stand in the former Manzanar War Relocation Center. Two reconstructed buildings stand in the former Manzanar War Relocation Center. What we saw was a flat desert with vegetation scrappy and close to the ground, stubborn trees here and there, tumbleweed bounding across the landscape, propelled by the wind. "I hadn't pictured it this beautiful," I said. Our guide for the day was park ranger Mark Hachtmann.

Skip Hollandsworth of Texas Monthly: His best true crime pieces, from Kevin Winter/Getty Images. Every weekend, Longform shares a collection of great stories from its archive with Slate. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Greetings from Austin! Three Dallas prostitutes were found dead in as many months. “Dutifully, Charles spent hours on his taxidermy courses, stuffing and mounting his birds, making them look as life-like as possible. “Yet Delle wouldn’t let him. "They were, indeed, Charles Albright’s first works of art, just as the mail-order booklet had promised. “The birds had no eyes. How two love-struck, type-A high-schoolers almost got away with murder: "As their investigation began, the detectives did conduct a perfunctory interview with David Graham, but they were so certain he was not involved that they didn’t even try to give him a polygraph test. “In fact, throughout last fall, a stream of mostly female well-wishers visited Bernie in jail, bringing him cakes and pies.

Convicted defendants left uninformed of forensic flaws found by Justice Dept. Correction: Earlier versions of this story gave the wrong middle initial for former federal prosecutor Michael R. Bromwich. Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to the convictions of potentially innocent people, but prosecutors failed to notify defendants or their attorneys even in many cases they knew were troubled. Officials started reviewing the cases in the 1990s after reports that sloppy work by examiners at the FBI lab was producing unreliable forensic evidence in court trials. In addition, the Justice Department reviewed only a limited number of cases and focused on the work of one scientist at the FBI lab, despite warnings that problems were far more widespread and could affect potentially thousands of cases in federal, state and local courts. In one Texas case, Benjamin Herbert Boyle was executed in 1997, more than a year after the Justice Department began its review. But two cases in D.C. Santae A. Donald E. Michael R. “Ms.

A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe - Chris Hedges' Columns A Decade After 9/11: We Are What We Loathe Posted on Sep 10, 2011 By Chris Hedges I arrived in Times Square around 9:30 on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. A large crowd was transfixed by the huge Jumbotron screens. The south tower went down around 10 a.m. with a guttural roar. I headed toward the spot where the towers once stood, passing dazed, ashen and speechless groups of police officers and firefighters. Scores of people, perhaps more than 200, pushed through the smoke and heat to jump to their deaths from windows that had broken or they had smashed. The images of the “jumpers” proved too gruesome for the TV networks. The “jumpers” did not fit into the myth the nation demanded. The shock of 9/11, however, demanded images and stories of resilience, redemption, heroism, courage, self-sacrifice and generosity, not collective suicide in the face of overwhelming hopelessness and despair. Reporters in moments of crisis become clinicians. There would soon, however, be another reaction.

The Supreme Court justices finally found an issue that unites them. Zach Gibson/Getty Images It’s been a rough year for the Supreme Court. While the court tried to avoid controversial cases and to reach consensus whenever possible, the Republican Senate blockade of Merrick Garland and the tense process around Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation made it look more partisan than any time since Bush v. Gore. Last week, in a case called Nelson v. A succinct majority opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan—reversed the Colorado Supreme Court, holding that Colorado’s demanding scheme for refunding money to exonerated defendants violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. The presumption of innocence means that a defendant who can’t prove her “actual innocence” isn’t any less innocent than one who can. At first glance, it’s a little puzzling why the court bothered to decide this case at all.

7 Places to Find & Watch Documentaries Online It was in the fifth grade while watching a film (yes, a film with two reels) about Plymouth Plantation that I first realized I enjoy watching documentaries. 20+ years later I still enjoy documentaries. As a teacher I think that a good documentary video when used in the right setting can be valuable to students. Quality documentary videos can provide students with useful explanations or demonstrations of concepts. Unfortunately, documentary DVDs can be expensive acquisitions for some school departments. PBS Video is currently my favorite place to find high quality documentaries. Snag Learning and Snag Films offers access to hundreds of high quality documentary videos. Documentary Heaven is a free site that has organized more than 1600 documentary films found across the Internet. Folk Streams is a good website featuring documentary films of American life. produces and hosts high-quality documentary films and photographs.

The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive Ernie Lopez is currently serving a 60-year sentence for harming six-month-old Isis Vas, who later died. (Photo courtesy of PBS FRONTLINE) Her name was Isis Charm Vas and at 6 months old she was a slight child -- fifth percentile in height and weight. When the ambulance sped her to Northwest Texas Hospital on a Saturday morning in October 2000, doctors and nurses feared that someone had done something awful to her delicate little body. A constellation of bruises stretched across her pale skin. Less than 24 hours later, Isis died. If you have any information about possible wrongful prosecutions in child death cases, please contact reporter A.C. An autopsy bolstered the initial suspicions that she'd been abused. The police investigation that followed was constructed almost entirely from medical evidence. Today, Lopez is serving a 60-year prison term for sexual assault and is still facing capital murder charges. If Lopez is ultimately exonerated, his case will not be unique. "What's going on?

US police smash camera for recording killing - Features A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but Narces Benoit's decision to videotape a shooting by Miami police landed him in jail after officers smashed his cell-phone camera. It was 4am on May 30 when Benoit and his girlfriend Erika Davis saw officers firing dozens of bullets into a car driven by Raymond Herisse, a suspect who hit a police officer and other vehicles while driving recklessly. Herisse died in the hail of lead, and four bystanders also suffered gunshot wounds, the Miami Herald newspaper reported. Police noticed the man filming the shooting and an officer jumped into his truck, and put a pistol to his head, Benoit said. The cop yelled: "Wanna be a [expletive] paparazzi?" "My phone was smashed, he stepped on it, handcuffed me," the 35-year-old car stereo technician told CNN. Legal issues "There are two questions at play here that need to be separated," said Eugene Volokh, a professor of law at the University of California. Benoit and Davis have hired a lawyer.

Bresha Meadows enters a plea deal, will spend two more months in detention. GoFundMe Bresha Meadows, a 15-year-old Ohio girl charged with aggravated murder for killing her allegedly abusive father, entered a plea deal on Monday after nearly 10 months in juvenile detention. In return for a plea of “true,” the juvenile version of “guilty,” Meadows got her charges knocked down to involuntary manslaughter and what could have been a multi-year jail sentence reduced to a year and a day in jail, six months in residential treatment, and two years of probation. Christina Cauterucci is a Slate staff writer. Meadows’ mother Brandi called her a “hero” last summer for putting an end to the more than two decades of physical abuse she says she endured under her husband’s controlling eye. Ja’Von Meadows-Harris, Meadows’ cousin who once lived with the family, recently came forward with stories of his uncle’s abuse, which allegedly predicated his removal from the home by a social worker. Few women since have gotten such justice.

The Norumbega Inn - Camden - United States Brooklyn Prosecutor to Seek Freedom of Man Convicted in 1990 Killing of Rabbi Four days later, the rabbi, Chaskel Werzberger, an Auschwitz survivor, died of his wounds. Even in the New York City of 1990, as homicides crested at 2,245, the murder stirred grief and outrage. The “Slain Rabbi” was front-page tabloid news. Mayor David N. Dinkins traveled to Williamsburg’s Satmar enclave to sit in mourning and to offer a $10,000 reward. The new Brooklyn district attorney, , stood shoulder to shoulder with fur-hat-wearing Satmars, watching as they rocked back and forth and wailed as the pinewood coffin was carried out. Forty detectives worked the case, soon led by the swaggering, cigar-chewing Detective Louis Scarcella. Mr. He is almost certainly not guilty. This week Mr. Mr. Detective Scarcella and his partner, Stephen Chmil, according to investigators and legal documents, broke rule after rule. At trial, prosecutors acknowledged the detectives had misbehaved but depicted them as likable scamps. No physical evidence ever connected Mr. A Guilty Verdict As Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr.

Aid to Israel no longer a sacred cow For the first time in memory, if not ever, a highly respected mainstream columnist is calling on the United States to cut aid to Israel. Writing in the Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist Walter Pincus, says, "it is time to examine the funding the United States provides to Israel". Aid to Israel is virtually the only programme - domestic or foreign - that is exempt from every budget-cutting proposal pending in Congress. No matter that our own military is facing major cuts along with Medicare, cancer research and hundreds of other programmes, Israel's friends in Congress in both parties make sure that aid to Israel is protected at current levels. Back when I was a congressional staffer, I was part of the process by which aid to Israel was secured. Members of the respective appropriations committees sent "wish lists" to the chair of their committee detailing which programmes they each wanted funded and by what amounts. Exceptionalism Lobby as a 'night flower'