NC's Death Row a legacy of past mistakes

And every single one of these cases needs a thorough review:

With 142 inmates waiting to die, North Carolina has the sixth largest death row in the country. But a report released Tuesday says most of the prisoners would not be awaiting execution if their cases were investigated and tried today.

In “Unequal Justice: How obsolete laws and unfair trial created North Carolina’s outsized Death Row,” the Center for Death Row Litigation in Durham says the state’s death row is stuck in time while the views of capital punishment continue to evolve. “They are prisoners of a state that has moved on, but refuses to reckon with its past,” the report says. “Today, the death penalty is seen as a tool to be used sparingly. Instead of a bludgeon to be wielded in virtually every first-degree murder case.”

With all the political issues confronting us these days, people might be prone to back-burner this one based on two flawed assumptions: 1) They are in no danger of being executed due to the de facto moratorium, or 2) They would still be incarcerated somewhere else anyway. As to that first thing, the term "de facto" should be enough to demonstrate that fallacy. New technology and/or a shift in opinion could get the execution machine rolling again. As far as the second assumption is concerned, these factors definitely come into play:

Wednesday News: Two more days

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NC'S VOTER REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS FRIDAY BY 5:00: Residents of most North Carolina counties who want to register in person or by mail have until the close of business on Friday to submit their applications. As long as a mail-in registration is postmarked by that date, the county elections office will process it for November’s election. If it’s later than that, it won’t be processed in time. Voters who want to use same-day registration can do so at any one-stop early voting site within their county of residence from Oct. 17 through Nov. 3. To use same-day registration, you’ll need to fill out a voter registration form, which includes a legal attestation that you’re eligible to vote, and you’ll need to show proof of residency showing your name and address, which can be a government- or college-issued ID or a utility or bank statement.
https://www.wral.com/voting-this-november-deadlines-are-just-days-away/17903907/

Tuesday News: Under investigation

PROSECUTOR REFERS SPEAKER TIM MOORE'S BUSINESS DEALINGS TO SBI FOR PROBE: Two years after then-House Rules Chairman Tim Moore’s legislation rescued a controversial south Durham mixed-use land project and boosted a high-end residential community next door, one of the developers took him on as his lawyer. And two years after that, the same developer, Neal Hunter, gave Moore a legal services contract for a Durham-based pharmaceutical company Hunter had recently co-founded, paying him $40,000 for four months of work largely related to how federal tax law treated such startups. Moore, a Cleveland County Republican who became House speaker in 2015, disclosed those details in an interview Friday about his private legal work. He was adamant he never mixed that work with his legislative duties. But a state prosecutor told The News & Observer she has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into concerns about Moore’s work for Hunter and a separate case where Moore’s private legal work preceded controversial state legislation involving bail agents.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article219586045.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Why voting is so important:

The science of science is dying, and being replaced by the rhetoric of industry lobbyists. We can start the healing process by taking back the General Assembly in 2018, and finish it by purging the White House in 2020.

Climate Change and the "cycle of disaster" in floodplains

When it comes to rebuilding after storms, some hard decisions need to be made:

Local officials desperate to restore normalcy to disoriented communities will get to decide how to spend those federal dollars — choices made more consequential, and costly, as sea levels rise and Atlantic storms generate greater surge and rainfall because of climate change.

“Human settlements have been designed in a way that reflects a climate of the past, and this increases the likelihood that disaster-related losses will continue to rise,” said Gavin Smith, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who directs the Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence, a research consortium funded by the Department of Homeland Security. “This also means we need to rethink how and where we build before the storm, as well as how and where we reconstruct public buildings and infrastructure in the aftermath of extreme events.”

First let me state upfront I do not live in an area prone to flooding, even during the worst of deluges. There are a few streams here and there in my community that are prone to overflow, but 15-20 minutes later everything's fine. And I know it's real easy for somebody like me to criticize those who do live in such areas, who resist being relocated. But emotional attachments have absolutely no influence on the science of hydrology, and if that science tells you you're living in the wrong place, you should probably listen closely:

Monday News: Stockholm Syndrome

NC REPUBLICAN WOMEN LASH OUT AT DEMOCRATS OVER KAVANAUGH HEARINGS: A group of Republican women led by NC GOP vice chairwoman Michele Nix on Sunday accused Democrats of using smear campaigns and resorting to mob rule during last week’s confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Nix spoke at a press conference at the state GOP headquarters during a break in a party meeting. “The Democrat Party has become the party against freedom and liberty, the party of emotion over reason and the party of violence over civil debate,” Nix said. “In short, modern Democrats prefer mob rule over the rule of law. Over the past week, they have shown they will stop at nothing to get their way. Democrats destroyed a good man’s name, a good man’s family, all based on allegations that were refuted by the witnesses and disproved by seven FBI reports.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article219636640.html

VOLUNTEER at the State Fair booth of the NC Democratic Party

Photo of the State Fair

Please sign up to volunteer at the State Fair booth of the NC Democratic Party! The Fair starts Thursday and runs 11 days. It's a ton of fun to volunteer and talk to voters, and we have lots of slots still available!

Angry about Kavanaugh? Do something about it! Come talk to thousands upon thousands of voters at the NC State Fair!!

It's FUN to volunteer at the State Fair booth

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATES, ANSWER "YES" WHEN ASKED TO EXPAND MEDICAID: Failing to expand Medicaid carries a HUGE cost to North Carolina – both in the health of our citizens and to the state’s economy. Every month the toll increases. Since 2014: 2,115 to 6,346 North Carolinians have died for lack of needed medical care. 21,720 diabetics have had to go without medication. 56,233 women have gone without annual mammograms for breast cancer screening. $11.52 billion in federal funds have been lost. 67,160 jobs have not been created. The leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly -- specifically Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham and House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland -- could easily bring this neglect to an end. But their reflexive disdain for ANYTHING backed by former President Barack Obama prevents a change.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-legislative-candidates-answer-yes-when-asked-to-expand-medicaid/17894...

Don McGahn's crusade to entrench Republican power

Running interference for Brett Kavanaugh is only part of a broader strategy:

An exasperated President Trump picked up the phone to call the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, last Sunday. Tell the F.B.I. they can investigate anything, he told Mr. McGahn, because we need the critics to stop. Not so fast, Mr. McGahn said.

Mr. McGahn, according to people familiar with the conversation, told the president that even though the White House was facing a storm of condemnation for limiting the F.B.I. background check into sexual misconduct allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a wide-ranging inquiry like some Democrats were demanding — and Mr. Trump was suggesting — would be potentially disastrous for Judge Kavanaugh’s chances of confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Not to take away from Trump's disgusting and contemptible behavior during this fiasco, but this particular issue reveals the machinations behind the GOP's supposed "kow-towing" to the President. That is a façade, a way for them to get unethical things done while appearing to keep their hands clean. For almost two decades, Republican leaders have been pushing a mostly clandestine effort to entrench their power via corporate money and voter suppression, and Mitch McConnell's fingerprints are all over that:

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