Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mental Illness & the Death Penalty in North Carolina

Watch for more on this SOON to come...there was a small piece about it coming up very current today on All Things Considered NPR dot org...


Here's just a little more from Rick Halperin's Death Penalty News & Updates
JANUARY 15, 2009:


NC lawmakers examine death penalty change

A North Carolina defense attorney is asking legislators to ensure justice and fairness by banning the execution of death row inmates who suffer from severe mental illness.

Attorney Kimberly Stevens of Winston-Salem spoke Thursday to a legislative committee examining a proposal that could remove the death penalty as a sentencing option for some suspects accused of first-degree murder.

Under the legislation, a judge could declare a suspect has a severe mental disability. If convicted, the person would face a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

State law already bars a death sentence for the mentally retarded. North Carolina juries also can find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity.

The bill could be considered after the Legislature convenes later this month.

(source: Associated Press)

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