The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled last week in the appeals of two death row inmates, Eddie Lamar Taylor and Eric Glenn Lane.
In Taylor’s case (opinion here), the court found that there was no error with Taylor’s conviction or death sentence. Among the issues raised by Taylor in his appeal: judge error, ineffective assistance of counsel, and racial discrimination in jury selection.
In Lane’s case (opinion here), the court remanded to the superior court that originally convicted and sentenced Lane, instructing them to consider the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Indiana v. Edwards. In Edwards, SCOTUS ruled that just because a defendant has been found competent to stand trial does not mean that he is capable of representing himself.
Lane was allowed to represent himself for approximately six months, including the pretrial investigative period and the beginning of jury selection, despite being mentally ill and functionally illiterate. The Wayne County Superior Court will now decide whether it would still have allowed Lane to represent himself under the Edwards standard.