A Judge Overturned a Death Sentence Because the Prosecutor Compared a Black Defendant to King Kong
A federal trial judge in South Carolina last week overturned the death sentence of a man convicted of stabbing his victim more than 70 times with a screwdriver. The sentencing phase of the trial of Johnny O’Landis Bennett was so infected by racial animus by the prosecutor and a juror, U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel concluded, that Bennett was deprived of his constitutional right to due process.
Continue reading: The Marshall Project
. . . From the moment Graves was exonerated in 2010, he set out to reform the criminal justice system that stole 18 years of his life. He was determined to help others who have suffered under a regime he believes is fundamentally flawed.
In the last two years, Graves has invested more than $150,000 – part of the money the state paid him to compensate for the years he spent wrongly imprisoned – to launch the Anthony Graves Foundation. The still budding nonprofit is dedicated to freeing other innocent inmates and providing health care to recently released prisoners with medical problems and no means to pay for treatment. Read the article at the Dallas Morning News
According to the State, Donnie Myers, the prosecutor who regularly used racist language in his attempts to obtain death sentences (for example comparing a defendant to King Kong) will not run for the position of 11th Circuit Solicitor again.
Please note that links to articles are provided as information only and do not imply an endorsement by SCADP of either the article or its title. The State
As part of the National Lawyer’s Guild’s Student Week Against Mass Incarceration, a Feb. 29 Cornell Law School panel, featuring professors Joe Margulies ’82, John Blume and Valerie Hans, discussed the future of the death penalty in light of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death Feb. 13.
Read more: Cornell Chronicle