Death Penalty

The State of Things
12:13 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Witness To An Execution: Part Two

Execution chamber
Credit Wikipedia

Stephen Lich Tyler drove to Texas last week to witness the execution of his father’s killer, Ramiro Hernandez Llanas. Before he left, he spoke on The State of Things about his struggles with the decision to attend and his expectations of the execution. He returned to the studio today to talk with host Frank Stasio about the experience and how it shaped his perspective on the death penalty.

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The State Of Things
11:20 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Witness To A Texas Execution: Part One

Lethal injection room
Credit Wikipedia

On Wednesday night, the State of Texas executed Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, a man convicted of the 1997 killing of professor Glen Lich.

Hernandez-Llanas was an immigrant hired to work on the Lich property when he lured Lich outside the home and beat him to death. He then returned to the house and attacked Lich's wife.

Lich was not Hernandez-Llanas's first murder victim. Hernandez-Llanas had escaped from Mexican prison where he was serving a 25-year sentence for murder.

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Law
4:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

North Carolina Wants New Drug For Death Row Executions, But Where Will It Come From?

The lethal injection room at San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin, Calif. 2010.
Credit California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Prosecutors in Wake County are selecting a jury in a first-degree murder trial this week. It is the fifth case in North Carolina this year where a defendant could face capital punishment. But a series of lawsuits have blocked the death penalty for years in this state. And now, a little-known drug could become another obstacle.

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Law
5:00 am
Wed January 22, 2014

NC Appeals Court Considers Public Input On Lethal Injection Protocol

North Carolina death row inmates are housed at Central Prison in Raleigh. No executions have been carried out in the state since 2006.
Credit Ted Buckner via Flickr

Members of the North Carolina Court of Appeals appeared to show Tuesday that they wanted to return to a lower court a seven-year-old case over the lethal injection chemicals the state uses in executions.

A three-judge panel heard arguments on whether the state Department of Public Safety should have followed a public rule-making process when it switched its execution procedures from a three-drug chemical mixture to a single-drug injection.

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Law
5:00 am
Mon January 20, 2014

If NC Changes How It Executes Death Row Inmates, Does The Public Have A Say?

Death row inmates are housed at Central Prison in Raleigh. No executions have been carried out in North Carolina since 2006.
Credit North Carolina Department of Public Safety

The North Carolina Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Tuesday morning on whether the state must follow a public rule-making process when changing its procedures for executing death row prisoners.

Arguments center on the Department of Public Safety switching its protocol for executions from a lethal injection of a three-drug mixture to a single-drug solution. (The change happened last fall.)

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The State of Things
10:50 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Chapel Hill's First Openly-Gay Mayor Reflects On His Home

Mark Kleinschmidt
Credit http://www.townofchapelhill.org/ / Town Of Chapel Hill

  

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Politics & Government
4:55 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Judge Holds Hearing On Racial Justice Act Cases

A Cumberland County judge held a hearing today for four death row inmates are learning how their cases will proceed under the Racial Justice Act.

Gurnal Scott: The four want their sentences reduced to life without parole. Lawyers say resolving these cases could take years. Lawmakers changed the Racial Justice Act requiring more than just statistical evidence to overturn a death sentence. David Weiss with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation says the only case reviewed so far under the act meets that standard.

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Politics & Government
6:10 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Bill Rewriting Racial Justice Act Passes House

House lawmakers have passed a bill that would rewrite the state's Racial Justice Act.

Jessica Jones: House lawmakers passed the controversial measure by a veto-proof 72 to 47 after a long debate yesterday afternoon. The bill would narrow the use of statistics that death row inmates could use to show that racial bias was a factor in their cases. It would also narrow the time frame inmates could use to prove bias. House Majority Leader Paul Stam is a sponsor of the bill.

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Politics & Government
5:55 am
Fri June 17, 2011

House Votes to Nullify Racial Justice Act

Lawmakers in the House have voted to nullify a 2009 law that allows death row prisoners to contest their sentences on the basis of racial bias. The law, called the Racial Justice Act, allows a judge to commute a condemned prisoner's sentence to life in prison if he or she determines the case was tainted by race. Republican representative Justin Burr says the law has forced prosecutors to spend too much time reviewing old cases.

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Law
3:47 pm
Fri February 18, 2011

Durham Man's Death Sentence Commuted

A Durham man has been taken off death row after a Superior Court judge commuted his sentence. Isaac Stroud had been sentenced to die for the 1993 murder of his girlfriend. But his attorneys argued mental illness should have disqualified him from a death sentence. The ruling means Stroud will instead spend life behind bars. Marilyn Ozer is an attorney who’s worked on the case since 2001. 

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