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Death Penalty

Jan 28, 2014

States consider reviving old-fashioned executions

With lethal-injection drugs in short supply and new questions looming about their effectiveness, lawmakers in some death penalty states are considering bringing back relics of a more gruesome past: firing squads, electrocutions and gas chambers.

Jan 22, 2014

Boy executed in 1944 has his day in court

Lawyers finally got the chance to argue on behalf of George Stinney, 70 years after the 14-year-old black boy was sent to the electric chair for killing two white girls in South Carolina.

Jan 21, 2014

Judge mulls retrial for executed boy

A 14-year-old black boy executed nearly 70 years ago in South Carolina is finally getting another day in court, but the judge and a prosecutor aren't sure whether it is fair to judge what happened in a segregationist-era courtroom by modern standards.

Dec 30, 2013

No executions in SC for more than 2 years

For the second year in a row, South Carolina saw no executions in 2013. The state had no new death sentences in the last year, either.

Dec 27, 2013

SC’s execution of 14-year-old riled people in 1944

Leaving a judge to decide whether to throw out the conviction of a 14-year-old boy executed in South Carolina in 1944 reminds supporters of George Stinney of how the teen's fate was also in one man's hands nearly 70 years ago.

Oct 8, 2013

Defendant in death penalty case strikes deal before trial

A Darlington man accused of ordering the deaths of two people in 2009 in Florence County has been sentenced to life in prison.

Oct 7, 2013

Man facing death penalty in Florence double murder

A Darlington man accused of killing two people in 2009 in Florence County is going on trial this week.

Feb 13, 2013

SC Supreme Court overturns death sentence

An inmate on South Carolina's death row for more than two years is set to get a new trial after a state Supreme Court ruling that a judge should have let the man testify in his own defense.

Jun 27, 2012

Criminal Practice – Habeas Corpus – Death Penalty — Murders

U.S. v. FulksA South Carolina defendant sentenced to death for his role in carjacking, kidnapping and the murder of two women in separate incidents during a crime spree after a Kentucky jail break cannot overturn his death sentence with claims of ineffective assistance of counsel; the 4th Circuit says none of the alleged errors by counsel would have made a difference in the outcome of thi[...]

Dec 1, 2011

Criminal Practice – New Trial – Death Penalty – Mentally Retarded Defendant

Elmore v. Ozmint A mentally retarded African-American handyman who was 23 years old when he was accused of the 1982 murder of a 75-year-old wealthy white woman for whom he did odd jobs is entitled to a new trial, as his trial lawyers’ “blind acceptance of the State’s forensic evidence” demonstrated constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel, says the 4th Circuit in a 2-1 s[...]

Jun 10, 2011

Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Habeas Corpus – Effective Assistance – Death Penalty

DeCastro v. Branker The 4th Circuit upholds denial of habeas relief for a North Carolina defendant sentenced to death for his role in the fatal stabbing of a husband and wife who owned a mobile home park where a co-defendant had lived; none of the multiple allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel by the lawyer who represented defendant at trial, from his investigation of the case [...]

May 13, 2011

Criminal Practice – Constitutional – Right to Counsel – Conflict of Interest – Death Penalty

State v. Justus There was conflicting evidence as to whether defendant's second-chair counsel had represented a potential state's witness by preparing his separation agreement or whether she was still representing the witness in his divorce action. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by disqualifying and replacing counsel two and a half years before defendant pleaded guilty.

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