News Update 09.24.07
A judge ruled last week that the North Carolina Medical Board cannot discipline doctors who participate in executions. Reporting here, here, here, and here. You can read the judge’s decision here. In essence, Judge Donald Stephens found that medical ethics, however noble, don’t override the mandate of the legislature. No word yet on how this ruling affects separate litigation that has brought a pause in executions since 2006.
In Wilson County, trial is set to begin today for James Johnson. Johnson has been in jail for three years awaiting trial for the kidnapping/rape/murder of Brittany Willis. The problem? There is no physical evidence connecting Johnson to the crime, and a man already convicted of the murder says he acted alone. Many are calling for the charges to be dropped.
“As part of the American Bar Association’s ongoing state-by-state study of death penalty systems in the U.S., the ABA’s Ohio Death Penalty Assessment Report was released today, finding numerous serious flaws in the implementation of Ohio’s system of capital punishment.” The report examines everything from DNA testing availability to quality of representation to issues of mental health. Read the Executive Summary here. (c/o ODPI)
For those keeping an eye on the Supreme Court, SCOTUSblog predicts that cert will be granted in Chester v. Texas (standard for mental retardation) and Ozmint v. Ard (ineffective assistance of counsel), among others.
A bit of (sick and twisted) comic relief recommended by a friend.