This keeps happening: Wake jury rejects death penalty for 9th time in a row

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It’s starting to feel like Groundhog Day in Wake County. Every year begins with a capital trial, and every year, the jury chooses life. Wake is the only county in the state where a defendant has been tried capitally every year for the past three years. We’re hoping that, next year, we can skip this annual ritual.… Read More

Time to move on: Calls for death penalty fall flat in N.C.


In 2017, N.C. juries rejected the death penalty, more innocent people were released from death row, and public support for executions fell to a 45-year low. As we look to 2018, let’s skip the outdated death penalty rhetoric and start looking for solutions that actually make people safer — like properly staffing prisons and supplying guards with working radios.… Read More

A life condemned: Remembering my client who died on death row

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My client, Terry Ball, slipped away with barely a mention after living on N.C. death row for almost 25 years. I believe his life is worth remembering, and that his story, like all my clients’ stories, hold keys to understanding the origins of crime and our shared humanity with people labeled the worst of the worst.… Read More

A juror’s dilemma: The wrenching job of deciding another person’s right to live

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A little-known aspect of the death penalty is its impact on jurors who must make life-and-death decisions without any of their usual support networks. For jurors, seeking trusted advice and doing independent research is an understandable impulse — but it’s also against the law.
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the more you know about a defendant, the less likely you are to support his or her execution; the more you know about the criminal justice system, the less likely you are to support anyone's execution