News Roundup

I’m traveling today so I’ll round up the news a bit more briefly than usual:

Court of appeals remands lethal injection case. The News and Observer reports here that the court of appeals has remanded a challenge to the state’s lethal injection protocol to superior court for further consideration. Executions likely will remain on hold in the interim.

The letter, the response, and the execution. Gawker media recently published a letter written by Texas inmate Ray Jasper about the problems with society and the criminal justice system. It attracted quite a bit of attention, much of it favorable. Jasper was convicted of murder in the stabbing death of a young man named David Alejandro, and David’s brother Steven responded to the letter and what he viewed as the inappropriate celebration of Jasper here. Jasper was just executed as noted here.

Serving a 1000 year sentence in 8 hours? I was intrigued by this post at Sentencing Law and Policy, which considers whether, in the future, drugs could be used to distort inmates’ sense of time, so that they subjectively experience very long sentences in just a few hours. As the kids say, trippy.

Miller retroactivity. Two more states held Alabama v. Miller (no automatic LWOP for juvenile murderers) retroactive recently: Illinois and Texas. It isn’t a consensus, but there’s clearly momentum on the side of retroactivity. The question remains open in North Carolina.

Allocution. This new paper has been making the rounds. It collects judges’ thoughts about what makes for effective allocution. A good read for defense attorneys.

Spare change? Finally, in New Jersey, a municipal employee was convicted of stealing over 11 tons of quarters – almost 2 million individual coins – that came from the town’s parking meters. Apparently they were kept in a city “coin room.” Don’t they have banks in New Jersey? The full story is here.

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