News Update 05.18.07
The State has formally announced its intent to seek the death penalty against Demeatrius Montgomery, who is charged in the shootings of two Charlotte police officers. Montgomery’s attorneys are seeking a gag order to keep the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department from releasing false information to the public and tainting the jury pool.
In Arkansas, there is new evidence in the case of the West Memphis Three. Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelly, and Jason Baldwin were convicted of the murders of three boys in 1993. Echols was sentenced to die, the other two received life sentences. The prosecution and defense met this week at the state crime lab to discuss DNA evidence that wasn’t available at the time of trial. Little information is available about the nature of this DNA, but one defense attorney called the meeting, “useful and productive.”
In Pennsylvania, Mumia Abu-Jamal’s attorneys put on evidence of systemic racial discrimination in jury selection by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. The prosecutor in Abu-Jamal’s case struck 74% of black jurors in the six capital trials he prosecuted in the years surrounding Abu-Jamal’s trial.
Updates will be sporadic over the next week.