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Crime Questions in Gaston death penalty case linger

23:40  29 october  2019
23:40  29 october  2019 Source:   gastongazette.com

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Two families sat on opposite sides of a Gaston County Courtroom on Monday, both there for a hearing involving the rape and murder of a 72-year-old Gastonia woman more than 27 years ago.

Christopher Roseboro is led into the courtroom prior to a hearing Monday afternoon at the Gaston County Courthouse. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]© Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette/Gaston Gazette/TNS Christopher Roseboro is led into the courtroom prior to a hearing Monday afternoon at the Gaston County Courthouse. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]

On one side was more than a dozen members of the family of Martha Edwards, the woman killed in her West Second Avenue apartment in March 1992. During the trial, evidence indicated Edwards was also raped either as she was dying or maybe even after she had already passed while Roseboro burglarized the house.

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The two cases are the only ongoing death penalty appeals in Colorado. “If Judge Rafferty was removed from Mr. Ray’s case for reasons that have anything to do with the content of his finished order in Mr. Owens’ case , this would have as much of an effect on Mr. Ray’s case as it would have on Mr

Read this essay on Death Penalty Case . The Death Penalty in America An unreasonable and Inhumane Deterrent. The Death penalty has been a staple in U.S. justice system since its inception in 1608 believe in the death penalty . The main thing we Question is, what purpose it serves for us to.

a group of people sitting at a desk: Superior Court Judge Don Bridges talks with Christopher Roseboro and his lawyer Chris Fialko during a hearing Monday afternoon at the Gaston County Courthouse. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]© Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette/Gaston Gazette/TNS Superior Court Judge Don Bridges talks with Christopher Roseboro and his lawyer Chris Fialko during a hearing Monday afternoon at the Gaston County Courthouse. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]

On the other side was eight people in support of Christopher Roseboro, a death row inmate since 1994.

Roseboro's attorney say his "intellectual disability" make him ineligible for the state to carry out a death sentence. They also argue he deserves a new sentence based on ineffective counsel at his 1994 trial and maybe even a new trial altogether.

Danielle Elbert from the North Carolina Attorney General's Office represents the state. She agreed some evidence lends itself to finding Roseboro intellectually deficient, going all the way back to when he was in school. But she said the state does not believe enough evidence exists to take him off death row.

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"[T]he death penalty may only be imposed for first degree, premeditated or felony murder. The prosecuting agency handling the case must file a In determining whether to seek the death penalty the prosecutor may weigh many factors. These include the apparent existence of any of the statutory

a man standing in a room: Christopher Roseboro is led out of the courtroom at the end of his hearing Monday afternoon at the Gaston County Courthouse. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]© Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette/Gaston Gazette/TNS Christopher Roseboro is led out of the courtroom at the end of his hearing Monday afternoon at the Gaston County Courthouse. [Mike Hensdill/The Gaston Gazette]

The case has lingered both sides agreed, leaving many of the questions surrounding the fairness of putting Roseboro to death unanswered for so long.

Part of the reason has to do with race. Roseboro is black, his vicitm was while.

In 2009, state lawmakers passed the Racial Justice Act, which Gov. Beverly Purdue signed. The state law allowed some of those on death row to argue that racial bias led to their sentences.

When Republicans took control of the Legislature and governor'office the law was repealed in 2013, although it remains an issue before the North Carolina Supreme Court.

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The penalty phase of a death penalty case simply doesn’t exist for non- death penalty cases . None of these requirements would apply to other types of cases , even if the death Study after study has found that death penalty cases cost up to 10 times more than comparable non- death penalty cases .

The symptoms Hayne cited to make that diagnosis have since been called into question in the medical and forensics communities. He testified in thousands of cases . For years, state and federal courts have rejected challenges to his credibility. Even on the SBS issue, there are lingering questions .

But few judges wanted to take up arguments involving death penalty cases while the Racial Justice Act was still being argued out in courts.

Superior Court Don Bridges of Cleveland County has the current defense motions for appropriate relief before him.

He took reports from both sides from legal experts concerning the level of intellectual disability Roseboro has. Both sides agreed Bridges might be able to make a decision based on those reports alone, but left open the possibility of more hearings where each side would have an opportunity to present evidence.

Depending on how Bridges rules on the intellectual disability issue, he also has to make a decision on whether Roseboro deserves a new sentencing or a new trial altogether based on the argument he had ineffective counsel at his first trial.

Bridges promised both sides he would work to bring this proceeding to a conclusion, although the timetable for that decision remains unclear.

Roseboro's co-defendant in the burglary part of the case, Roger Bell, received a life sentence and remains incarcerated.

You can reach Kevin Ellis at 704-869-1823 or Twitter.com/TheGazetteKevin.

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©2019 Gaston Gazette, Gastonia, N.C.

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