Another state walks away from death penalty


You know the death penalty is on its last gasp when one of the most heavily Republican states in the nation votes to repeal it. That’s what happened this week in Nebraska, where legislators voted overwhelmingly to replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole.

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N.C. legislature’s death penalty plan: Remove safeguards, add secrecy, ignore innocence


A few months ago, the world watched as Henry McCollum was declared innocent after 30 years on North Carolina’s death row. Now, N.C. lawmakers say we need to hurry up and execute people.

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Reasonable doubt: N.C. says 900 convictions based on bad evidence


The N.C. Commission on Actual Innocence is reexamining all convictions that relied on microscopic hair analysis. This type of evidence, once widely used in death penalty prosecutions, is now recognized to be based on junk science. Yet, many people convicted with it still sit in prison.

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“I see goodness when others see only evil”


Jonathan Broun has represented some of North Carolina’s most high-profile defendants, including UNC student Eve Carson’s killer and a man accused of torturing and killing a 4-year-old. Broun explains what motivates him to take on our state’s most difficult cases and fight tirelessly against the death penalty.

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The 30-year club: Wave of exonerations for U.S.’s longest-serving death row inmates

Exoneration Hearing for Henry Lee McCollum and Leon Brown-DNA evidence frees two innocent N.C. men 30 years after wrongful conviction

McCollum and Brown are among many exonerees who served decades on death row and are now struggling to put their lives back together. State compensation is still hard to come by.

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The numbers are in: NC’s death penalty fails


A new study exposes NC’s death penalty as an expensive exercise in futility. Among the findings: 74 percent of death sentences handed down in the past three decades have been overturned because of substantial errors.

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Gov. takes bold action, executions halt in PA

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

Have you heard the good news from Pennsylvania? Newly elected Gov. Tom Wolf has announced a suspension of executions. This is a courageous move in a state with 186 people on death row, and where an execution was scheduled for March 4. Wolf said he based his decision in part on the wave of exonerations […]

Asheville residents say ‘Yes!’ to halting executions


Yet another sign of how attitudes toward the death penalty are changing… Recently, the Asheville Citizen-Times asked its readers a simple question: Do you support a death penalty moratorium? The answer was a landslide: Yes!

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Exonerations at record pace in 2014, as death penalty threatens the innocent

Henry McCollum in Sept. 2014, moments after a judge declared him innocent. McCollum spent 30 years on N.C.'s death row.
Photo by Jenny Warburg

The facts are in: 150 death-sentenced people have now been exonerated. The death penalty is a grave threat to the innocent and cannot continue to masquerade as “justice.”

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Americans say it’s wrong to execute mentally ill. States do it anyway.

Scott Panetti

A poll shows Americans overwhelmingly oppose the death penalty for people with mental illness. Yet, a delusional man barely escaped execution in Texas, and many severely mentally ill inmates remain on N.C.’s death row.

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