Category Archives: South Carolina

Bennett Death Sentence Overturned

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

11th Circuit Solicitor Won’t Run Again

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

Senate Panel to Consider Lethal Injection Secrecy Bill

A bill that would veil lethal injections in secrecy has risen from the dead.

The proposed law, sponsored by 4 Republican senators, would protect the identities of companies that sell lethal injection drugs to the state Department of Corrections, and exempt those purchases from state procurement laws and pharmacy board regulation. It would also protect the identities of the execution team, and of any pharmacists involved in mixing lethal injection drugs.  Read more: Free Times

The bill mentioned in the article is S 553, and there is a companion bill in the House, H 3853, which will speed up the process and make it more likely that a bill becomes law.

This week neither the Senate, nor the House appears to have meetings scheduled for the bills, but meetings can be added any time and bills can be added to already scheduled meetings. Please check back; we will post new information as soon as we receive it.

In Orwellian move, NC State Archives blocks access to death penalty photo

In George Orwell’s novel “1984,” the luckless Winston Smith labors in a Ministry of Truth office where he “re-creates” the past by removing or changing historical documents to reflect Big Brother’s political demands.

Winston doesn’t know whether he’s changing a fact or a fallacy another worker has already introduced. He erases some people entirely after the Party executes them.

I couldn’t help but think of Smith’s grim legacy recently. Last month, I requested . . .

Continue reading: The News and Observer

With death penalty decision uncertain, judge delays Dylann Roof’s federal trial

A federal judge on Thursday delayed Dylann Roof’s trial in the deadly attack on Emanuel AME Church because prosecutors still have not decided whether to seek execution.

Roof could face the death penalty on 9 of his 33 charges in federal court, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Richardson said the decision by Washington-based Justice Department officials could take another 2 months.   Continue reading: The Post and Courier

SC seeks death penalty for father who killed, dumped 5 kids’ bodies in AL

The death penalty will be sought against the Lexington County father of 5 accused of killing his children, then dumping their bodies in Alabama.
Tim Jones, Jr., 33, appeared in court on Wednesday where Solicitor Donnie Myers served notice of his intentions to seek the death penalty.                         Continue reading: WIS News

Prison officials deny South Carolina deliberately skirted law on lethal injection drugs

South Carolina corrections officials deny intentionally breaking federal law when they obtained a lethal injection drug from an overseas supplier several years ago, a drug that was never used for an execution and has since been turned over to authorities.

In a segment Sunday on the CBS news show “60 Minutes,” South Carolina was named as 1 of 6 states that “have skirted federal law and turned to black-market dealers to get their hands” on drugs to execute death-row inmates.                   Continue reading: The Post and Courier

 

Letter to the Charleston Post and Courier

Dear Editor:

Mr. Nuss wrote a letter lamenting the cost and delay of Dylann Roof’s trial.

Roof’s lawyers have indicated that if the death penalty were taken off the table they would be ready to enter a guilty plea. Taking the death penalty off the table would allow the survivors and victims’ family members to avoid the additional trauma of a lengthy trial and the reoccurring trauma over the years as the appeals proceed.

The survivors and family members would have some closure. Hundreds of thousands of dollars would be saved. Court time would be freed up. Roof would spend the rest of his life in prison. He would not receive years of media attention. He would quietly stew in his own evil juices as his victims would begin healing.

Ron Kaz
Chair, SCADP