More on the Council of State, Active Cases

October 3, 2007

News Update 10.03.07

North Carolina

The folks at People of Faith Against the Death Penalty noted the following during the Council of State meeting yesterday:

Apparently forgetting the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and the right “to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall commented that she had received “in excess of 200 emails” from concerned citizens and called the messages “inappropriate.” She said she opened two of them “by mistake” and did not read them.

Secretary Marshall’s admission reflects the confusion and ignorance that surrounds the Council of State’s actions on this issue so far.

NC Labor Commissioner Jim Long, the only Council member to vote against the motion, noted that the Council could probably feel the meeting table shaking from his cell phone as he received more emails from concerned citizens during the meeting.

He added that because the US Supreme Court was considering Kentucky’s lethal injection protocol, which is the same as North Carolina’s, “We are probably just spinning our wheels.”

Meanwhile, NC prosecutors are seeking death in at least two trials underway at the moment. A jury is deliberating Ricky Graham‘s fate in Mecklenberg County, and Mario Lynn Phillips‘ attorneys are arguing for his life in Moore County.

Elsewhere

CDW warns us to be on the lookout for low-flying swine: the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution for Heliberto Chi, which could mean that the most active death penalty state in the nation is entering a period of moratorium. More from StandDown and NYT.

MVFHR is starting of its Voices of Families of the Executed series this morning with words from Lois Robison, whose son Larry was executed in 2000.

The folks at SCOTUSblog have launched ScotusWiki, a source for quick and comprehensive coverage of cases before the Supreme Court. (a work in progress)


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