Tuesday, 23 January 2007

McClatchy Newspaper Series on Death Penalty

McClatchy Newspaper Series on Death Penalty

The McClatchy chain includes Texas' Fort Worth Star-Telegram and 32 other newspapers across the country. Stephen Henderson, McClatchy's Supreme Court correspondent, has written a series on death penalty representation focused on four states, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina. The series front is "No Defense: Shortcut to Death Row," and it includes several graphics.

The individual articles in the series include: "Mississippi case inspired death penalty investigation."

Ronnie Lee Conner inspired this series of stories.

Psychotic and delusional, he sits on Mississippi's death row, fouling his cell with his own feces and urine, his demented screams and shouts keeping other prisoners awake at night.

Conner has been acting out in bizarre ways for years. But his jury never heard about his mental impairments.

His lawyers failed to prepare or present any evidence of his problems during his trial for slashing the throat of an elderly woman in Meridian, near the Alabama border.

Conner's case prompted a simple question: How frequently are prisoners condemned to death without juries knowing such starkly pertinent information?

The three primary articles in the series are:

"Indefensible? Lawyers in key death penalty states often fall short."

"Nonstop the death house: Appeals courts often overlook attorneys' errors."

"Between life and death:A group of young lawyers is some prisoners only hope."

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