News Update 8.22.07
There are presently at least two capital murder trials underway in North Carolina. In Hoke County, Kelvin Ray Smith has been convicted of robbery and murder charges and is moving into the sentencing phase of his trial. In Wake County, jury selection has begun for the trial of Andrew Canty.
Meanwhile, at least four defendants who formerly faced the death penalty have been sentenced to less: Robert Lilly (Anson County, second-degree murder), Jondre Lowemincey (Onslow County, first-degree murder – life without parole x2), Tharon Johnson (Onslow County, second-degree murder x2), and Robert Fastje (Union County, second-degree murder).
An op-ed by the ACLU’s Christopher Hill:
At every step of the capital conviction process, our state government has shown a willingness to evade, or even betray, the truth. It is against this backdrop that North Carolina must now reconsider carrying out the most severe sanction.
The truth is that the death penalty in North Carolina is broken. Considering the travesty confirmed by Judge Morrison, it is hard to imagine that it can be fixed.
DePaul University College of Law’s Center for Justice in Capital Cases offers training and resources for students and professionals interested in the effective representation of capital clients. (c/o DPIC)