A death row inmate was granted a new trial this week because the police failed to release records concerning the case as required by law. The scary part about this one was that the records were not released until after the date that the inmate was originally scheduled to be executed. From the Charlotte Observer:
A judge says a man who has spent 11 years on North Carolina's death row deserves a new trial because police failed to turn over files that could have helped his defense, the News & Record reported Tuesday.
Charles Walker's constitutional rights were violated when the Greensboro officers, now retired, withheld evidence, Superior Court Judge John O. Craig III said in an e-mail sent to lawyers in the case this weekend, the newspaper reported.
"I want to avoid finger-pointing as to why the Greensboro Police didn't turn over these portions of their files, and whether it was wrong," Craig wrote in an e-mail sent Saturday to lawyers involved in the case. "I think my obligation is to merely find that it occurred ... and the law requires me to rectify the omission."
Lawyers are to draft an order for Craig to sign and finalize the decision.
Walker, 40, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was hours away from dying by injection when the state Supreme Court upheld a stay of execution on Dec. 2, 2004.
This just illustrates one more flaw in the death penalty; there would have been no way to rectify this situation if he was executed as scheduled.