Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I ever plead guilty to a charge?”
A recent report from an Appalachian State University professor sheds light on the death penalty in North Carolina. Government and judicial studies professor Matthew Robinson published the report in June. In the report, professor Robinson examines data to help determine whether the state should continue to maintain the death penalty policy. Under state law, a person can be sentenced to death if convicted of a first-degree murder and meet at least one of a list of aggravating circumstances. When someone is sentenced to the death penalty they will wait in prison until their execution.
Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?”
Millions of voters around the country are busy today making a number of important decisions, the biggest of which is about who will lead our country for the next four years. Though the significance of that question often overshadows other concerns, voters in some states, California chief among them, will also need to consider some important ballot questions that could have an important impact on criminal law for years to come. Let’s take a moment to discuss a few of these California proposals and what they might mean for citizens of the state should they become law.
Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: What are the long term effects of being convicted of a crime?
North Carolina’s death row houses 152 inmates awaiting execution. The state has not executed an inmate since 2006. A series of lawsuits brought by death-row inmates in 2007 led to what some call a “de facto moratorium.” Those lawsuits are still pending.
Now a group called “North Carolina Conservatives Concerned about the Death Penalty” is pushing state lawmakers to consider whether replacing the death penalty with life-in-prison-without-the-possibility-of-parole would be prudent in light of recent death-penalty developments in the Tar Hell state and elsewhere. Raleigh-based political consultant Ballard Everett is the group’s “coordinator.” According the Associated Press, the group’s membership includes current or former Republican Party chairmen from at least three North Carolina counties.
The state legislature passed a law last year aimed at resuming capital punishment. Last October, the Department of Public Safety issued a new set of protocols for carrying out death sentences. The “Execution Procedure Manual” provides for the administration of a single drug—Pentobarbital—to execute inmates.
Pentobarbital isn’t the easiest drug to find in the world, at least for states seeking to use it in lethal injections. The drug’s European manufacturers—located in countries that oppose the death penalty—refuse to sell the drug to states and departments that may use it to carry out death sentences.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Do I need to hire an attorney if I have been falsely accused?”
Two Robeson County men were freed earlier this week from the North Carolina Department of Corrections after serving 30 years for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in 1983. Henry McCollum and Leon Brown were freed after DNA extracted from a cigarette butt near the girl’s body implicated another man.
Now members of a Gaston County family say the man—Roscoe Artis—was involved in the 1980 rape and killing of 30-year-old Bernice Moss. Artis was once a suspect in Moss’s killing, according to Charlotte’s WBTV. Moss’s body was found in a wooded area of Gaston County that is now home to a Walmart.
Artis is already serving a life sentence for the 1983 rape and murder of Joann Brockman. Brockman’s rape and murder occurred less than a month after the rape and killing of Katrina Buie. Mr. McCollum and Mr. Brown were initially convicted of raping and killing Buie. McCollum was sentenced to death, while Brown was sentenced to life in prison.
Artis’s criminal history of multiple rapes and assaults dates back to 1957, according to a witness who testified at McCollum’s and Brown’s hearing last Monday. He lived with his sister in a house near the soybean field where Sabrina Buie’s body was found. Artis, now 74, has insisted that he knows McCollum and Brown did not kill Buie, but he denied that he was involved in Buie’s death, even though he admitted seeing the girl the night she went missing and said he knew her because she used to buy cigarettes from him.
J. Bradley Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Should I talk to the police?”
Two men imprisoned over 30 years for the 1983 rape and murder of an eleven-year-old girl will be freed today after a Robeson County Superior Court judge overturned their convictions.
Robeson County Prosecutor Johnson Britt told Judge Douglas Sasser that new DNA tests of a cigarette butt found near the victim’s body negated the evidence presented at the men’s trials. Even if the men were granted new trials, Britt said, “The state does not have a case to prosecute.” Britt was not involved in the men’s earlier criminal trials.
After hearing from Britt and other witnesses, Sasser ordered the men to be released.
The men—Henry McCollum and Leon Brown—were just 19 and 15, respectively, at the time of the murder. They alleged that they were coerced into confessing to the crime under pressure from law-enforcement officials. McCollum told the Raleigh News & Observer that he had never been under so much pressure, “with a person hollering at me and threatening me.” He said he made up a story about how he and three other youths attacked and killed the girl so that investigators would let him go home.