Category Archives: South Carolina

Life Requires More From Us Than Death: Ending The Death Penalty In Charleston, Too

. . . For the first peoples of this land, communities of African descent, other communities of color and poor people, news about America the violent is not really news at all. Ours is a different recognition grounded in a historic set of oppressions established through searing social custom, legislative fiat, religious teachings, and racial taxonomies. Enslavement, segregation, discrimination, criminalization, removal, poverty, second-class citizenship, and all manner of brutality and violation are its legacy. It is a legacy that continues still, nowhere more prominently than in the continued administration of the death penalty. . . . Read more

(source: Alton B. Pollard, III, Ph.D.–Dean and Professor of Religion and Culture at Howard University School of Divinity; Henderson Hill Veteran criminal defense and civil rights attorney and trial advocacy instructor based in Charlotte, NC.—-Huffington Post)

Dylann Roof’s lawyer a Canadian-born crusader against death penalty

David Bruck, a soft-spoken Montrealer, has become one of America’s foremost opponents of the death penalty.
The memories have faded a little in the 21 years since David Bruck saved her daughter from the electric chair. Linda Russell, mother of South Carolina murderer Susan Smith, now recalls 3 things about him.
How softly he spoke. How intensely he opposed the death penalty. And that photo, on his office wall, of a tiny black boy: George Stinney, a 14-year-old sent to the chair after a flawed trial in 1944.
Continue reading: The Toronto Star

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