Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
News and Observer's Board Editorial
Wednesday's ruling was a sensible and appropriate interpretation of the legislature's intent. A DNA test of a semen sample recovered from the teenage victim was ruled inconclusive 15 years ago. DNA testing has improved significantly in recent years, however. Both common sense and justice argue that if more advanced and accurate DNA testing is available, it must be used before the state ofRead the rest of the editorial posted here on the ncmoratorium website
executes someone. North Carolina
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
In the Supreme Court of North Carolina . . .
Defendant's motion for stay of execution is allowed. Defendant's petition for writ of certiorari is allowed for the limited purpose of reversing the trial court's denial of DNA testing and remanding this case to Gates County Superior Court for entry of an order requiring that biological evidence in the possession of the State be DNA tested pursuant to N.C.G.S. 15A-269.
With this order, the Gates County court's denial of a DNA test was vacated. Importantly, this Order indicates that the Supreme Court understands that the law means what it says -- that when DNA exists and is relevant to a case, it is the public policy of the State of North Carolina that it be tested.
(AP Photo/Jerry Wayne Conner's defense lawyers)
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
This one from the Asheville Citizen Times
North Carolina Needs a Death Penalty Moratorium and DNA Testing
The state refuses to test DNA evidence that could determine with certainty the guilt or innocence of Jerry Conner. Conner is scheduled for a May 12 execution at Central Prison even though doubt remains about his culpability. The courts are supposedly accountable to us, the good people of North Carolina. How many of us are willing to put some abstract rule of the court or the cost of running the tests above our need for the truth before the state kills a person in our name? Not me. Not most of us. In August of 1990, someone murdered Mihn Rogers and raped and murdered Linda Rogers. Jerry Conner was convicted of those horrible crimes. Sixteen years later and days from his execution, there is still doubt about his guilt. The system is too flawed to be trusted with life and death. Most of us don’t even trust the courts to fairly adjudicate our traffic tickets. Yet, for some reason, we trust the same system to be unerring in applying death as punishment.
That is plain foolish. We need a DNA test in this case and legislature should pass a moratorium on executions.
And this one publised in the News and Observer on May 5, 2006
Give him his DNA test
In the case of Jerry Conner, 40, scheduled for execution May 12, why not retest his DNA? (news story, May 3). In the last 16 years there have been significant changes in the test. In 1990, it took weeks to get the results back; now, it takes a day. Why deny this man the new, more accurate, test? Is the state so unsure of its justice system?
Instead of doing what's right, the state is relying, since the old test was inconclusive, on the confession of a borderline mentally retarded man, when there are cases of normally intelligent, but naive or young, people tricked into confessing crimes they didn't commit.
The Innocence Project reports that false confessions have been present in more than one in four DNA exonerations across the country. If North Carolina is no different, we all must doubt our justice system, and the state hiding the possible innocence of a condemned man just makes things worse.
M. B. Hardy
Friday, May 05, 2006
Amnesty International Calls for Action in Jerry Conner's Case
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Why Jerry Conner Did Not Seek Clemency Today
A pdf. is available here. To keep reading, click here.