Tuesday, September 14, 2010

NORTH CAROLINA: Press Conference on SBI Lab Findings Held in Asheville

Murder victims' family members, a North Carolina death row exoneree and a member of his defense team and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty -- among others -- commented on the findings of malfeasance at the SBI lab during a press conference in front of the Buncombe County courthouse at noon on Tuesday.

A report by two former FBI agents released last month suggests that over 200 cases are likely affected by the faulty and unscientific process at the SBI serology lab.

Glen Chapman says, "Mistakes were made in my case as far as withheld evidence, police officers fabricating evidence"

He says some of those mistakes cost him over 15 years of his life.

Chapman says, "Having all that time taken away from me, I can't get that back."

A jury found Chapman guilty of murdering 2 women in 1992 in Hickory, North Carolina. That same jury sentenced him to death. He was later exonerated and released from prison in 2008.

Now, he is one of the many who are bringing light to the errors at North Carolina’s crime lab.

Some of which, according to the FBI’s findings, cost people their life.

"2 of the death row inmates are dead. They were executed," says Chapman.

People showed up at Buncombe County Courthouse to express their concern over these findings at the SBI crime lab, but more importantly, they had a bigger message about the death penalty in North Carolina.

Asheville resident, Jean Parks says, "I'm extremely concerned that with a system riddled with so many problems that we are still maintaining the death penalty in North Carolina."

Representative Patsy Keever says, “I think the message is we've got a problem in North Carolina with SBI and we are unfairly putting people to death and obviously the people here today prefer that we not put anyone to death at all."

Representative Keever says that separating the SBI lab from law enforcement will help to prevent errors in the state crime lab.

She also says continuing the moratorium on the death penalty in North Carolina is crucial, at least until a more permanent decision on the death penalty can be made.

(source: WSPA)

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