News Roundup

It’s time to round up some news.

First, the News and Observer recently commented on President Obama’s failure to nominate any additional North Carolinians for the Fourth Circuit — a court on which Tar Heels are wildly underrepresented — despite several vacancies. Of course, the White House has been moving rather deliberately on judicial nominations in general, as discussed here.

Second, I’ve previously noted — here and here — the Willingham case, in which Texas may have executed an innocent man. The City of Corsicana has submitted its papers to the commission reviewing the case. A bit of commentary on the papers, and a link to the document itself, is available here.

Third, the effect of North Carolina’s sex offender laws on offenders’ ability to go to church is drawing national attention, as evidenced by this AP story.

Fourth, in light of North Carolina’ own litigation over lethal injection and the administration of the death penalty, readers may be interested in what’s happening in Ohio in the aftermath of the failed execution of Romell Broom. (Despite hours of trying, prison staffers were unable to get an IV line working, leading to the abandonment of the execution.) Apparently, the state is considering dramatic changes to its execution protocol, including a change in the combination of drugs used, a change in the method of injection (to intraosseous injection), etc. Sentencing Law and Policy is all over this issue; the most recent post, with links to earlier ones, is here.

Finally, another midwestern state making criminal law news is Indiana. An appellate court there recently ruled that a cheek swab for DNA is so minimally intrusive that it can be done without a warrant and on reasonable suspicion. A summary and critical analysis of the decision is here.

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