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Resource ID: #17241
Subject: Death Penalty
Source: Observer (Charlotte, N.C.)
Date: 2000-09-10



This Charlotte Observer investigative series reveals that "in the Carolinas, the death penalty is plagued by mistakes and misconduct." Among the major findings are multiple cases of wrongful convictions and flawed trials, resulting in throwing out more than half of all death sentences. The investigation analyses the records relating to death sentences in recent years and shows that "killers are far more likely to receive death sentences if their victims are white." The series also reveals that some prosecutors and judges are biased against Afro-American convicts, and questions the justification of capital punishment for mentally retarded people.The reporters depict some prosecutors who "withhold evidence - even if it suggests they've charged the right person," as well as irresponsible defense lawyers who have betrayed their clients. The investigative team concludes that "despite such problems, appeals courts have become far less likely to intervene in recent years."

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