Newscasts

PNS Daily News - December 9, 2019 


The Pensacola shooting investigated as an act of terror; Trump faces criticism over so-called anti-Semitic comments; and some local governments adapt to meet the needs of immigrants.

2020Talks - December 9, 2019 


Candidates have a busy week in Iowa, despite a weekend shooting on Pensacola Navy Air Base. Also, candidates start butting heads, notably South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and MA Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

McCollum Case Cited in Supreme Court Ruling

PHOTO: North Carolina's Henry Lee McCollum is noted in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in a death penalty execution drug case. The lengthy nature of death penalty cases is credited with saving McCollum's life. DNA technology, not available when he was convicted, proved his innocence 30 years later. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
PHOTO: North Carolina's Henry Lee McCollum is noted in the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in a death penalty execution drug case. The lengthy nature of death penalty cases is credited with saving McCollum's life. DNA technology, not available when he was convicted, proved his innocence 30 years later. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.
June 30, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the use of midazolam in death penalty executions may not affect North Carolina directly, but the state's Henry Lee McCollum case was noted in the court's opinion.

McCollum walked free after DNA evidence cleared him of a crime he had spent 30 years on death row for. Attorney David Weiss at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation says the case was the reason justice was achieved for McCollum.

"Justice Breyer notes McCollum would not be alive today to get the benefit of that DNA evidence, and that exoneration, if the system had worked more quickly," He says. "Many people, people like Justice Scalia, would like to see the system work more quickly."

Weiss says the ruling doesn't impact the state's hold on executions.

There was another component to the ruling which Weiss says "might be the bigger story" in the years to come – comments made by Justices Breyer and Ginsberg calling into question the constitutionality of the death penalty.

"One of the reasons they discussed this is something like 80 percent of all recent executions have happened in three states," he says.

Weiss adds the geographic distortion has happened because the death penalty is no longer the law of the land in many states, or is rarely used.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - NC