In 1991, the United States Sentencing Commission submitted a report to Congress calling for the abolition of mandatory minimums. We’re on the eve of the 30-year anniversary of that report. Yet we’ve made very little progress when it comes to the unfair sentencing practice.
Mental illness cases involving diminished-capacity defenses are procedurally complex and often result in underwhelming outcomes. And justice reform and mental health advocates are often left wishing for more. Two recent North Carolina cases illustrate the “we can do better” mindset well.
The constitutional right to a jury trial comes from the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It states that “[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury….” But what happens when a juror
The chance of a “perfect trial” is slim to none. Whether it’s a sleeping juror, a lack of record or something else, anything close to a perfect trial is hard to come by. And that’s true even when the wrong juror convicts you.
In an opinion authored by Justice Anita Earls, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that retroactive application of the General Assembly’s repeal of the NC Racial Justice Act violated the constitutional prohibition on ex post facto laws.
Reuters did a special report on the disparity between the often harsh penalties that judges impose on a daily basis and the significantly less harsh penalties they face for their own wrongdoing in America’s justice system. This leads to an important question: Are the consequences
With the General Assembly’s repeal of the Racial Justice Act, defendants don’t have a clear path to challenge death sentences on racial grounds. And, with the General Assembly backtracking on previous steps it took to fix that problem, it’s unlikely that North Carolina residents will