12-13-2012, 07:59 PM #1
NC - judge commutes 3 deaths sentences; cites bias
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge on Thursday commuted the death sentences of three convicted killers, including two who killed law enforcement officers, to life in prison without the possibility of parole after ruling that race played an unjust role in jury selection at their trials.............
The three who had their sentences commuted were among the most notorious killers on North Carolina's death row. Two had killed law enforcement officers.
Family members of the victims and more than 60 uniformed police officers packed the courtroom. Before Weeks could finish issuing his ruling, the brother of a murdered state trooper stood up and yelled an expletive at the judge.
The Republican-controlled Legislature recently scaled back the state's Racial Justice Act, on which Thursday's ruling was based. Weeks said his ruling applies under both the old and new laws.
He cited evidence that included handwritten notes of prosecutors indicating they worked to get blacks eliminated from the pool of jurors, resulting in panels that were overwhelmingly white...............
The cases involve convicted murderers Christina "Queen" Walters, Tilmon Golphin and Quintel Augustine.............
Prosecutors indicated they will petition to have Weeks' ruling overturned by the N.C. Court of Appeals.
More at link.......
"The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause
The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington
06-10-2016, 02:23 PM #2A Cumberland County judge on Thursday removed himself from presiding over the cases of four people who in 2012 used a racial bias law to get off North Carolina's death row.
During a hearing at the Cumberland County Courthouse, Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons said he was stepping aside to prevent any allegations about his ability to be fair from clouding the cases.
The N.C. Supreme Court in December overturned the 4 inmates' reprieves and sent their cases to Ammons for new hearings under the state's controversial Racial Justice Act.
Convicted murderers Marcus Reymond Robinson, Quintel Augustine, Tilmon Golphin and Christina Walters in 2012 were the first and only prisoners in the state to use the Racial Justice Act to get their death sentences commuted to life in prison without parole. The law, which was repealed in 2013, allowed death row inmates to attempt to prove racism was a factor in their cases and, based on the racism, overturn their death sentences.
The defendants' lawyers since January filed many hundreds of pages of documents to argue that Ammons has conflicts of interest and biases that preclude him from presiding over these cases. They said he has professional and personal relationships (...) that would keep him from fairly deciding whether Augustine, Walters, Robinson and Golphin should again be removed from death row.
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