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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
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!
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.”
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.
Yet another innocent man is exonerated after more than three decades in prison for murder. How many will it take before our state accepts that systemic changes are needed? And that the death penalty is unconscionable in a system that cannot even convict the right people?
Nationally, many studies have shown that the death penalty does nothing to deter crime. But the best evidence in North Carolina is the fact that our state has gotten safer since we stopped using the death penalty. Since 2007, when N.C. stopped executing prisoners, the murder rate has gone steadily down.