North Carolina Death Penalty News

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Jeff1857

Interesting Comments from Gov. Perdue on the status of our DP

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- It may seem like crime is all around us these days and that means that there are many crime victims out there.


Wednesday, they were honored in Raleigh during a ceremony for Crime Victim's Rights Week.

The gathering of victims and their families heard from Kevin Blaine, the father of Jenna Neilsen who was murdered at a Raleigh gas station almost three years ago.

The crime is still unsolved.

They also heard about the highest profile case in the Capital City - the murder of Kathy Taft - from the state's highest ranking official.

Throughout her career in politics, Governor Beverly Perdue has always been a strong advocate for crime victims. But now, she not only has sympathy, but empathy.

"For the last two months it's been up-front, close and personal to me," she said.

Perdue's good friend, state school board member Kathy Taft, was murdered in early March.

"I have begun to wonder how many years it will take or if ever that family will totally recover from a senseless act, some say a random act," said Perdue.

At the ceremony marking Crime Victims Week, Perdue thanked Raleigh police for their hard work that resulted in the arrest of Jason Williford.

Williford lives around the corner from the house on Cartier drive where Taft was brutally beaten and raped.

"Even a conviction and a penalty will not ever take away the hurt from this family. Just as a conviction never took away the hurt from your families," said Perdue.

Police struggled for weeks to find a suspect, then nabbed Williford when he threw out a cigarette butt, and they got a DNA match.

Perdue says his DNA should have already been on file from previous break-ins, and now she'll push for a law to take suspects' DNA when they're arrested.

"I think that's the right thing to do. I think that's no more invasive than taking somebody's fingerprints," said the Governor.

The idea is controversial, but would have helped in the Taft case.

Perdue also told crime victims and their families that although North Carolina's death penalty is under a moratorium, she wants to reinstate it as soon as possible.


http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=7399034

Anne

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/05/02/1410540/death-penalty-cases-dwindle.html

May 2, 2010

Death penalty cases dwindle

Capital trials and death sentences becoming increasingly rarein North Carolina.

By Anne Blythe
anne.blythe@newsobserver.com
Posted: Sunday, May. 02, 2010

When a Wake County jury decided late last month to spare the life of a man whom prosecutors described as a "monster" and "cold-blooded serial killer," death penalty opponents quietly hugged one another.

Samuel J. Cooper, 33, whom defense attorneys had portrayed as mentally scarred from years of physical and emotional abuse, would not join the 157 inmates on North Carolina's death row. The killer, convicted by the same jury of five first-degree murders, would spend his life in prison without possibility of parole.

The sentence was a sign of changing times in North Carolina, one of 35 states where capital punishment is allowed - but used less and less frequently.

"You look at that case as a prosecutor and say, 'If you can't get the death penalty in that case, gee, what case are you going to get the death penalty in?'" said Jim Woodall, the district attorney in Orange and Chatham counties and president of the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys. "More and more, the climate is against trying capital cases; therefore, you have to have almost a perfect trial for it to be upheld."

The Cooper sentence came one day after federal prosecutors accepted a plea deal in the capital case of Demario Atwater, one of two men accused of murdering Eve Carson, who was student body president at UNC Chapel Hill.

Atwater, one of the few in North Carolina charged both in state and federal court for the same crime, agreed April 19 to plead guilty to federal kidnapping and carjacking charges, crimes that could have resulted in a death penalty. In exchange for the guilty plea, Atwater was assured a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole, not death by lethal injection.

Atwater still faces the possibility of capital punishment if he is convicted on state charges of murder and kidnapping. He is being tried in Orange County, where no jury has returned a death sentence in modern times.

Ken Rose, a staff attorney with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, says the resolution of the Atwater and Cooper cases is evidence of a shifting landscape in tolerance for the death penalty.

"It signals a sea change," Rose said.

One sways 11

Only one juror held out against the death penalty for Cooper, so the case could easily have ended at death row for him. But such cases are rare: Since 1996, the number of capital trials in North Carolina has dropped from dozens a year to single digits. Death sentences have become even rarer.

Statistics from the Center for Death Penalty Litigation show that 14 years ago, more than half of the 60 capital trials in North Carolina resulted in death sentences.

Last year, there were nine capital trials, and two resulted in death sentences.

Several issues have factored into the decline of the death sentence. With advances in science and the creation of an innocence inquiry commission, wrongful convictions have been exposed in many states, including North Carolina. Allegations of racial discrimination in jury selection and decisions by prosecutors to pursue death in some cases and not in others have triggered questions about fairness.

The higher costs of capital trials, too, have prompted calls to abolish the death penalty.

For roughly three years, a push to stop doctors from assisting in executions and a lawsuit filed by some death row inmates challenging the use of lethal injections as cruel and unusual punishment have led to a de facto moratorium on executions.

Last year, the state legislature adopted the Racial Justice Act, which gives all death row inmates and anyone facing a death penalty trial an opportunity this year to challenge their case on grounds of racial bias.

A recent poll by Elon University showed that public support for the death penalty has dropped.

Better defense

As the number of cases declines, the quality of defense for those exposed to the death penalty goes up, prosecutors and defense lawyers say.

In the Cooper case, defense attorneys acknowledged from the start that their client killed five men. Prosecutors played a taped confession to jurors early in the trial, with Cooper describing in a calm, emotionless voice how he killed Osama "Sam" Haj-Hussein, 43; LeRoy Jernigan, 41; Timothy Barnwell, 34; Ricky High, 48; and Tariq Hussain, 52.

All but High were killed during robberies.

Though Cooper was described as having killed the men with cool indifference, the 12 jurors had a much more difficult time deciding whether he should live or die.

Defense attorneys said Cooper suffered from post-traumatic stress resulting from physical and emotional abuse by his father. Before the sentencing deliberations began, defense attorneys urged jurors to consider Cooper's mental health troubles as reasons to spare his life.

A lone juror persuaded 11 others to settle for a sentence of life without parole instead of death by lethal injection. In their deliberations, several jurors who supported the idea of capital punishment said their speculation that the death penalty might be abolished in North Carolina within the next decade made it easier for them to agree to a life sentence.

Woodall, the district attorney, says recent legislative actions and the three-year halt of executions have made him question, too, whether leaders still strongly support a death penalty in this state.

Woodall said that he and other prosecutors believe "the will of the state is not clear."










Anne


heidi salazar

Debate on erasing the death penalty in N.C. continues

It has been four years since North Carolina has executed an inmate and some wonder if that implies the state is leaning toward ceasing all executions.

With several legal questions surrounding the state's execution methods still fresh in people's minds, some questions are being raised as to whether or not the Death Penalty is still appropriate for North Carolina. Yet another contention arose this week as appeals poured in this week from death row inmates saying they don't deserve to be executed because of the Racial Justice Act. This left experts asking if this will cause another delay in carrying out death row sentences.

As of next Wednesday, it will be four years since the state has executed anyone. In that time, there have been multiple legal challenges to the state's executions. First from the Medical Board, who was concerned about doctors being present at executions, because they took an oath not to kill. That was defeated. Then two questions are still in the court system about the actual type of execution. One case surrounds whether lethal injection is cruel and unusual, and the other asks if the state followed the proper procedures to determine the type of execution used.

Until a decision is made, the North Carolina Coalition for a Moratorium said the legislature should put a hold on executions to examine how they are administered.

"If we are going to have the death penalty, it ought not execute innocent people," said Jeremy Collins, with the Coalition. "And if we have a death penalty, it ought not be racially biased and if we are going to have a death penalty it should not cost this much."

The North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys said a moratorium might not be enough. They believe it's time for the legislature to reexamine this entire issue.

"Quite frankly it may be the time to decide we are not a death penalty state," said Jim Woodall, president of the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys. "That seems to be the will of the legislature. That we should not be a death penalty state."

There are currently 159 people on death row in North Carolina. Almost all of them recently filed appeals under the Racial Justice Act.

http://charlotte.news14.com/content/local_news/triad/629225/debate-on-erasing-the-death-penalty-in-n-c--continues

Jeff1857

Crime lab audit incites critics of death penalty

Death penalty opponents have renewed calls to repeal state-supported executions and to commute the sentences of all death row inmates to life in prison, in the wake of an audit of the N.C. Bureau of Investigation.

The audit, released last week, found flawed laboratory work in the cases of death row inmates, including 3 who had been executed before the revelation came to light.

"I was flabbergasted; I could not believe it," said Ken Rose, an attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham.

The troubling findings come on the heels of studies by researchers at the Michigan State University school of law, the University of

Colorado in Boulder and Northeastern University in Boston that show racial disparities in the trials and sentencing of death row inmates. This month, under the fledgling Racial Justice Act, all but a dozen of the 159 inmates on North Carolina's death row used the historic law to request that their sentences be converted to life without possibility of parole because of racial bias in their trials and sentencing.

"None of us can be confident the results in any of these cases are fair or reliable," Rose said. "What I think should happen is the governor should commute all the sentences of persons on death row to life without possibility of parole."

Gov. Bev Perdue, a death penalty supporter, has not responded to calls for repeal of the state's harshest punishment. Nor has she commented on the new push for her to use her power as governor to commute all current death sentences to life without parole.

"No matter which issue you pick - the death penalty or the crime lab procedures - the governor believes one principle must override all others: fairness," Chrissy Pearson, a Perdue spokeswoman, said in an e-mail response.

None of the racial bias claims filed under the year-old Racial Justice Act, 1 of only 2 laws of its kind in the country, has gone before a judge.

The deadline for death row inmates to file claims was Aug. 10, and according to the latest count by the state attorney general's office, 147 inmates - 82 black, 53 white and 12 of other races - are seeking relief.

'Grab the "rope"'

1 of the 1st inmates to file was Guy Tobias LeGrande, a mentally ill man condemned to death in Stanly County after a jury spent less than an hour deliberating his case.

As LeGrande, a black man, was on trial for his life before an all-white jury, the prosecutor wore a noose-shaped pin on his lapel as he urged jurors to string together evidence investigators had gathered and "grab the 'rope,'" according to the death row inmate's Racial Justice Act claim.

LeGrande's lawyers say the trial was laced with racial slurs and epithets and was reminiscent of one that might have occurred in the 1920s or 1930s, an era of legal lynching in North Carolina.

LeGrande, who was convicted of murdering Ellen Munford, a white woman, on July 27, 1993, received the state's harshest sentence. His white co-defendant, Tommy Munford, was the victim's estranged husband.

Tommy Munford was described in the trial as the mastermind of the plot to kill his wife and reap rewards from a $50,000 life insurance policy. He was allowed to plead to 2nd-degree murder.

Prosecutors contend that the race of defendants and victims plays no part in their decisions. Many also disagree with assertions that all-white juries cannot deliberate and render verdicts without bringing racial bias into their decisions.

Jim Coleman, a Duke University law professor, says all-white juries might not intentionally bring racial bias into their deliberations, but some cultural innuendo could easily be lost on juries made up of only 1 race.

To illustrate his point, Coleman said the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic recently helped win the exoneration of Shawn Massey, a black man convicted of several serious crimes. It happened after the law students were able to show that the white victim and white police officers and prosecutors had been confused about the defendant's distinctive African-American hairstyle.

"We all are limited by our experiences," Coleman said.

Rep. Paul Stam, a Republican from Apex and leader of the House minority, has been critical of the claims filed under the Racial Justice Act.

North Carolina has not executed an inmate since August 2006. For roughly 3 years, a push to stop doctors from assisting in executions and a lawsuit filed by some death row inmates challenging the use of lethal injections as cruel and unusual punishment have led to a de facto moratorium on executions.

The time that it will take to hear the new bias claims in court, Stam said, would essentially create another de facto moratorium on the death penalty.

"No one will actually get relief under the act because actual racial discrimination has been illegal for decades, and those with actual evidence that they have been discriminated against have been able to present those claims in court without this act," Stam said recently.

Diminished faith

The People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, an organization based in Chapel Hill, plans to gather in Raleigh on Monday to further their calls for repeal of the death penalty.

In response to information contained in the Racial Justice Act bias claims and the SBI audit, the Rev. William Barber, head of the state National Association for the Advancement of Colored People chapter, has called for prayer, reflection and change. Last week, Barber sent a letter to the governor; Roy Cooper, the state attorney general who oversees the SBI; and key leaders in the state legislature and courts.

"For those of us who view the system through a lens molded by the dark and gloomy past of legalized racial discrimination, these revelations are a disturbing reminder of the old times that are not forgotten," Barber said in his letter.

(source: The Sun News)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just more smoke and mirrors to keep NC executions from getting back on track.


JeffB

GOP wins majority in both legislative chambers

News & Observer


By Lynn Bonner and Michael Biesecker - Staff writers
Republicans made history on Election Day as they seized control of North Carolina's legislature for the first time in more than a century.

Democratic leaders in both the state House and Senate conceded to their Republican counterparts late Tuesday.

Sen. Marc Basnight, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said he told Republican leader Sen. Phil Berger of Eden that he will do whatever he can to work with the new regime.

Republicans last held a majority in the Senate in 1898. This year, they rode a wave of voter discontent and forced some veteran Democrats into heated struggles.

"In serving the people, you understand a day like this may come," said Basnight, of Manteo, who led the Senate for the past 18 years. "You are hopeful that the change is beneficial, new ideas, different thoughts. This is only what the people want, so that means it is good."

Republicans appeared to win more than the six additional seats needed to overcome the Democrats' 30-20 advantage in the Senate. The GOP gains also appeared to exceed the nine seats needed to overcome the Democrats' 68-52 majority in the House, according to incomplete results from across the state.

"We are going to govern in a different way," Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam of Apex, the current House minority leader, told a cheering crowd at the GOP victory party in Raleigh. "We're going to govern in a frugal way, in a responsible way."

That pledge will quickly be put to the test as legislators return to the capital early next year to start dealing with an expected budget shortfall of more than $3 billion. The Republicans also will have to work with Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue, who has the power of the veto.

In early returns, Republicans were trouncing Democrats in eastern House and Senate districts. Republican Bill Rabon of Southport was winning the Senate district held by Democratic Sen. R.C. Soles of Tabor City, the state's longest-serving legislator. Soles decided not to seek re-election after he shot a young man in the leg last year. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Rabon beat former Democratic House member David Redwine of Shallotte.

In a swing district in Wake County, Rep. Chris Heagarty, a Democrat who has served less than a year, lost to Republican Tom Murry of Morrisville. Outside groups flooded Heagarty's district with mailers attacking him, at least one of which blamed him for a budget vote taken before he was appointed.

Basnight said he would not stand for minority leader in Senate, passing leadership of the Democratic caucus to Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Asheville.

Berger, the current Senate minority leader, is in line to become the next Senate President Pro Tem.

House Speaker Joe Hackney of Chapel Hill declined to comment on whether he planned to stand for minority leader in the House.

He said he didn't think his party's reversal had anything to do with a particular policy or vote in his two terms as speaker.

"It was just a wave," Hackney said. "I was here for the national Republican wave in 1994, and this is like that."

Stam and Rep. Thom Tillis of Cornelius are expected to be the Republican contenders to hold the speaker's gavel.

Tillis said it was too early Tuesday night to speculate about who would take the reins.

"We'll start talking about that tomorrow," he said.


Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/11/02/776708/gop-close-to-gaining-control-of.html#ixzz14R2r1Z7B


"SO SUCK IT YOU "BLUE COOLER" DOPE!"  -  Sylar24

JeffB

Maybe NOW we'll start getting something done here in the "death penalty" State of North Carolina....   ???
"SO SUCK IT YOU "BLUE COOLER" DOPE!"  -  Sylar24

Granny B



Amen to that!
" Closure? Closure is a misused word in the English language.  There is no such thing as closure for the family of a murder victim.  There will never be any closure for the death of our loved ones until we are dead ourselves.  The families have a lifetime sentence of anguish and sadness." 
Susan Levy

AnneTheBelgian

http://watchdogs.blogs.starnewsonline.com/14711/poll-support-for-death-penalty-increases-in-north-carolina/

January 6th, 2011 11:44am

Poll: Support for death penalty increases in North Carolina

by Pat Gannon

North Carolinians' support of the death penalty is growing, according to a poll released Thursday by the Civitas Institute.

According to the poll, 71 percent of respondents said they favored the death penalty for first-degree murder convictions. Twenty-five percent opposed it, and 3 percent didn't have an opinion, the poll of 600 registered voters showed.

According to a news release from the Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, it's the highest level of support for the death penalty in the history of Civitas polling. There is currently a moratorium on executions in North Carolina.

"The death penalty issue continues to garner overwhelming support among the state's voters in spite of the harmful actions of special interest groups and some elected officials to refuse justice for victims and their families," said Civitas Institute President Francis De Luca.  "Regardless of recent revelations of the inept management, culture and practices of the State Bureau of Investigation crime lab, support for the death penalty remains strong."

Not surprisingly, Republicans favor the death penalty more than Democrats, according to the poll.

The poll had a margin of error of 4 percent.











Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

JeffB

Yep..

Now if we could just get this thing going again......  If memory serves, there were about 3 or 4 who had exhausted all their appeals and were actually scheduled for execution - including 1 or 2 who escaped execution by mere days when the moratorium commenced. 
"SO SUCK IT YOU "BLUE COOLER" DOPE!"  -  Sylar24

JeffB

N.C. runs out of key lethal injection drug

01/29/2011 05:15 PM
By: News 14 Carolina Staff

RALEIGH -- North Carolina is among other states that have run out of a key lethal injection drug.

An Associated Press review shows that the drug called Sodium Thiopental has become scarce over the past year, so much so that a few states have had to postpone executions.

However North Carolina does not have any executions scheduled. But the delays could become more widespread across the country because of a decision last week to stop producing it. Some states have begun casting about for a substitute. Switching to another drug will take more than just a stroke of a pen in most places. Several states have lengthy regulatory and review processes.

Thirty-five states have capital punishment.

http://charlotte.news14.com/content/top_stories/636017/n-c--runs-out-of-key-lethal-injection-drug
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sure as hell isn't because we're using it all up - besides, we've got more immediate issues here in NC to clean up..   ::)



"SO SUCK IT YOU "BLUE COOLER" DOPE!"  -  Sylar24

AnneTheBelgian

http://www.wxii12.com/news/27164526/detail.html

NC Court To Hear Case On Death Penalty Process

Hearing Could Determine Future Of NC Death Penalty

POSTED: 2:32 pm EST March 11, 2011

RALEIGH -- The state Supreme Court will hear arguments that could help determine the future of the death penalty in North Carolina.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Monday in a case involving five death row inmates who say the Council of State failed to follow correct procedure when adopting a new set of guidelines for executions.

An administrative law judge ordered the council, which consists of all statewide elected officials, to revise the policy. But the council declined, and a Wake County Superior Court judge ruled the administrative court lacked the jurisdiction to make its ruling.

Ken Rose with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation represents one of the inmates. He said he's confident the case will ultimately prevail.

No one has been executed in North Carolina since 2006.













Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

JeffcoCitizen

Anne, you got any of those little blue pills Mailken left here?

After Illinois, I could really use a couple about right now.

AnneTheBelgian

Another article...

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/03/supreme-court-hear-arguments-nc-executions

Supreme Court to hear arguments on N.C. executions

The Associated Press

March 14, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C.

The North Carolina Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case that could change how the death penalty is administered.

Lawyers for five death row inmates are preparing to argue today that an administrative law judge was right to order state officials to revamp North Carolina's protocol for executions in 2007.

The Council of State has to approve changes to death penalty procedures and argues the judge doesn't have the jurisdiction to make that order. A Superior Court judge sided with the council.

The inmates' lawyers say the council signed off on changes to capital punishment protocol without hearing from advocates for condemned prisoners.

If the Supreme Court agrees, the case will go back to a lower court for review.













Anne
"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

AnneTheBelgian

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/07/11/2444974/new-prosecutor-seeks-3-death-penalty.html

July 11, 2011

New prosecutor seeks 3 death-penalty trials

Andrew Murray: Goals are 'closure for the victims' families,' tackling backlog of 135 homicide cases.

By Gary L. Wright

gwright@charlotteobserver.com

Posted: Monday, Jul. 11, 2011

Every year across the state in North Carolina, 10 death penalty cases on average are brought to trial.

Next year, Mecklenburg prosecutors plan to put three men on trial for their lives, signaling a more aggressive strategy to deal with the most heinous crimes. It's a significant change. In the last decade Mecklenburg has tried just four capital murder cases.

"Our goal is to obtain closure for the victims' families and reduce the murder case backlog," said Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray.

As many as 15 other murder suspects face trial, too, though they won't be death-penalty cases. If convicted, they will get life in prison without parole. Mecklenburg prosecutors have a backlog of 135 homicide cases.

Defense attorney George Laughrun said Friday he's noticed that prosecutors are more aggressive under Murray in handling of other felony crimes, such as assaults, robberies, drugs and property crimes. Murray became Mecklenburg's DA in January.

Peter Gilchrist, Mecklenburg's DA for more than three decades, retired last year. While Gilchrist was widely praised for his ethics and management of huge caseloads as crime soared during his tenure, he also had been criticized for allowing prosecutors to dismiss too many cases, fueling what some call a "revolving door" for criminals.

Murray's announcement of his prosecutors' more aggressive tactics, Laughrun said, will lead to more guilty pleas.

"If defendants know they're scheduled for trial, many will plead guilty rather than risk going to trial and getting a harsher punishment," he said.

The tougher tactics also will benefit victims' families.

"The families of murder victims won't have to wait three years for justice," Laughrun said.

Prosecutors say the scheduling of more death-penalty trials requires a reassessment of priorities because every death-penalty trial ties up a courtroom for weeks or months. The trials generally last from six weeks to three months. Of the 135 pending homicide cases, 19 are death-penalty cases.

The three men scheduled to be tried for their lives next year are Anthony Long, Andre Hampton and Reginald Johnson.

Anthony Long, 39, is charged with raping and murdering his estranged wife, Sonia Long, in 2007.

Andre Hampton, 25, is accused of beating to death his 23-month-old son, Ellijah, at a west Charlotte motel in 2008.

Reginald Johnson, 24, is accused of committing two murders during what police described as a 36-hour string of violent crimes in 2008. He's accused of killing 42-year-old Angela Davis, who police say was shot after telling an armed man who wanted money that she didn't have any. He's also charged with murder in the shooting death of 15-year-old William Adams in a west Charlotte park.

Prosecutors have already begun scheduling multiple murder trials each month, expecting that some will fall through. Sometimes cases are postponed; other times defendants plead guilty prior to trial. The tactic ensures prosecutors will have at least one defendant to put on trial.

"By scheduling several cases at the same time, we'll be able to obtain justice in the most heinous of crimes even if unforeseen events prevent the trial of any single case," Murray said.

Mecklenburg's new DA also plans to bolster his office's homicide team to help with the more aggressive approach. Two new homicide prosecutors will be added to the team over the next several months. That will bring to 11 the number of prosecutors on the homicide team.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Stetzer said the DA's homicide team also is operating differently.

Homicide prosecutors - sometimes even Murray - are going to the scene of all homicides and consulting with police on any legal issues that might come up during the first hours of the investigation. That gives prosecutors firsthand knowledge of what the homicide scene looks like.

"We've found that Police Chief Rodney Monroe's emphasis on being at these murder scenes and instilling a sense of urgency has been effective for us as well," said Stetzer, who heads the homicide team.

Homicide prosecutors are working more closely with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's homicide detectives. Stetzer said prosecutors and police are now reviewing cases together when decisions are made on whether to offer plea deals and what those deals should be.

Before Murray took office in January, he talked to an Observer reporter about his priorities. He said then that his prosecutors would make tougher plea offers and take other steps to restore confidence in the criminal justice system.

"I will be directing my staff to focus our resources towards obtaining convictions and considerable jail sentences for defendants that commit violent crimes, are repeat offenders and are members of gangs. There will definitely be a culture change in the district attorney's office, which will go a long way toward restoring the public's confidence."











Photo : Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray













Anne





"DEATH PENALTY OPPONENTS WHO TWIST THE TRUTH TO PROTECT KILLERS ARE ALSO TORTURING VICTIMS FAMILIES" (PETER BRONSON, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER,FEBRUARY 3, 2003)

PRO DEATH PENALTY AND PROUD OF IT !!!

JE MAINTIENDRAI (MOTTO OF WILLIAM I THE SILENT, PRINCE OF ORANGE, 1533 - 1584, MOTTO OF THE NETHERLANDS)

DEO JUVANTE (MOTTO OF THE PRINCIPALITY OF MONACO)

PROUD TO BE BELGIAN !!! I LOVE MY KINGDOM !!!

JeffB

State to seek death penalty in Asheville-area slayings

8:20 AM, Jul. 13, 2011

Written by
Jon Ostendorff

SYLVA -- Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a Jackson County man charged will killing his wife and her friend inside a home they had shared.

Matthew Wayne Moore, 23, is charged with first-degree murder in the May slaying of Melody Nicole Conger, 20, and Kevin Shawn Frady, 25.

They were shot a combined total of eight times inside a home in the Sunrise Park neighborhood.

Moore turned himself into police in Easley, S.C., hours later.

The couple was shot hours after Conger got a domestic violence restraining order against her husband, according to court papers.

She was the first to be shot. Frady was shot when he went into the home after hearing gunshots.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Moore said during a court hearing on Wednesday that the state can prove seven aggravating factors that make execution a suitable punishment in the case.

Among them:


-- Moore killed Frady while fleeing arrest for the killing of Conger.


-- Conger was a witness in a case against Moore.


-- The slayings were particularly cruel.


-- The slayings were part of a course of violent conduct.


Superior Court Judge Bradley Letts approved the state's motion to seek the death penalty.

Matthew Moore's defense attorney, Randal Seago, said he would notify the capital defenders office of the decision. Moore will get two attorneys, as required by law in death penalty cases.

Seago asked the court to set bond for his client, saying Moore had spent his life in Jackson County, had cooperated with police in the case and wasn't likely to flee.

He noted that Moore turned himself into to police in South Carolina.

Seago called Moore's father as a witness in the bond hearing.

Richard Wayne Moore said his son had lived in Jackson County since he was about a year old. He left for the military but was discharged after three months because of a knee injury.

He came back was living about 12 miles from his family home. He has two daughters. His father said he had been paying Moore's bills, including child support.

Seago said Moore's willingness to cooperate shows he won't flee.

"This is a case where it would be in the interest of justice for the court to set bond in an amount to insure his return," he said.

Jim Moore, the assistant prosecutor, disagreed. He said first-degree murder is the most serious crime and the death penalty the most serious punishment.

"Therefore, there is no greater reason for somebody not to return should they be released on bond," he said.

The judge denied bond.

After the hearing, Seago said the state was "overreaching" on the aggravating factors it listed in seeking the death penalty.

He said there was no evidence that Conger was a witness in any pending case against her estranged husband and he took issue with the state saying his client killed Frady while trying to flee arrest for the killing of Conger.

The shootings happened moments apart and before police were called, he said.

http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20110713/NEWS01/110713017/Death-penalty-sought-man-killing-wife-her-friend?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFrontpage
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