Death Row

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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Politics & Government
11:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Wake County Superior Court Must Decide Who Picks Execution Drug

North Carolina's death row inmates are housed at Central Prison in Raleigh.
Credit North Carolina Department of Public Safety

The North Carolina Court of Appeals sent back to a lower court on Tuesday a case over who decides how death row prisoners are executed.  The court says the case has changed too much for it to make an   opinion.  It started out with four death-row inmates who said the state’s method of execution was cruel and unusual.

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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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State of Things
9:16 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Life After Death Row

Life After Death Row

One hundred and thirty eight people have been exonerated of capital crimes and released from death row since 1973. These tragic stories don't always get told, but two professors wanted to make sure that the voices of some exonerees were heard. Saundra Westervelt and Kimberly Cook explore the post-incarceration struggle of 18 of them in their new book “Life After Death Row: Exonerees’ Search for Community and Identity” (Rutgers University Press/2012).

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Law
6:15 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Lawmakers Override Racial Justice Veto

State lawmakers have overridden the governor's veto of a bill that waters down the Racial Justice Act. The Act, passed in 2009, allows death row prisoners to challenge their sentences based on statistical evidence of discrimination. The new bill will limit the time frame and scope of statistics that inmates can use to challenge their sentences. Republican House Majority Leader Paul Stam thinks that's reasonable.

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Law
6:00 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Republican Lawmakers Plan Racial Justice Veto Override

Republican legislative leaders are expected to try to override the governor's veto of a measure that would water down the Racial Justice Act. The Act, passed in 2009, allows death row prisoners to appeal their sentences using statistical evidence of discrimination.

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Law
5:40 pm
Fri April 20, 2012

Death Row Sentence Changed Under Racial Justice Act

Advocates of the state's Racial Justice Act are hailing a judge's ruling today that race was a factor in a death row inmate's jury selection. Marcus Robinson was sentenced in 1994 for murder. Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks ruled that prosecutors in the trial disqualified potential black jurors more often than others. Stephen Dear with People of Faith Against the Death Penalty says he thinks this decision shows that bias has played a role in convictions.

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