Thursday, March 12, 2015

Acquittal in Durham Case

Yesterday, a juror found Joseph Mitchell not guilty in the death of his child, finding that Mitchell was sleepwalking when he killed his son.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Lots of Murder Trials to Watch in the Triangle

I noticed WRAL was hosting live streaming of two murder trials. Click the links for the live stream.

First, Joseph Mitchell in Durham, who is accused of killing his son. His defense is sleepwalking. I think the state is in rebuttal.

Second, Jonathan Broyhill, in Raleigh. The state is in its case in chief.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Death Penalty Trials, 2014

Eight cases were tried capitally before a jury in North Carolina last year.

Three cases ended in death:

Juan Rodriguez, Forsyth County.
Jonathan Richardson, Johnston County.
Bernard Lamp, Iredell County

Four cases ended in life without the possibility of parole.
Justin Hurd, Mecklenburg County.
Brian McQueen, Lee County.
Armand DeVega, Wake County.
Cedric Hobbs, Cumberland County.

One Case ended with a hung jury on the issue of guilt.
Demarcus Ivey, Mecklenburg County.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cedric Hobbs Gets Life in Cumberland County

After the State spent three months trying to get death against Cedric Hobbs, a jury hung on the issue of punishment, resulting in a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. The press is reporting the jury was hung 11-1 for death.

At sentencing, Hobbs told the victim's family: "I apologize most to Mrs. Harris' family," he said. "I know they don't want to hear me talking. I know they probably think I'm just a monster without a heart who don't care. I can see they are good people. I can also put myself in that position because I would want restitution. Even though I know I don't deserve any type of sympathy, I ask for forgiveness from the family and everybody here that hates me right now."

Studies show that the State's decision to proceed capitally costs more than $500,000 more than proceeding non-capitally, rarely results in a death sentence, and even more rarely results in an execution.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Innocent Man on NC Death Row for 30 Years.

From the New York Times (story and picture):

LUMBERTON, N.C. — Thirty years after their convictions in the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in rural North Carolina, based on confessions that they quickly repudiated and said were coerced, two mentally disabled half brothers were declared innocent and ordered re
leased Tuesday by a judge here.

The case against the men, always weak, fell apart after DNA evidence implicated another man whose possible involvement had been somehow overlooked by the authorities even though he lived only a block from where the victim’s body was found, and he had admitted to committing a similar rape and murder around the same time.

The startling shift in fortunes for the men, Henry Lee McCollum, 50, who has spent three decades on death row, and Leon Brown, 46, who was serving a life sentence, provided one of the most dramatic examples yet of the potential harm from false, coerced confessions and of the power of DNA tests to exonerate the innocent.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Unanimous Life Verdict in Lee County

Today, a jury returned a unanimous life verdict in the case of Brian McQueen in Lee County. McQueen had been convicted in a robbery-murder of a convenience store clerk. McQueen had a very low IQ and other mental health issues.

Some press about the case from the Sanford Herald, here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Wake County Jury -- Returns Life Again!

A wake jury returns verdict of Life in case of Armond Devega in late-May.

This is the fifth time in seven years that Wake County Juries have rejected the death sentence, at an enormous expense to the taxpayers of Wake County. No one was sentenced to death from Wake in that time.

The case was extensively reported on. Read the story here