With no favorable decisions noted the news of the week remains political. Governor Corzine in New Jersey commuted the entire of death row to life in prison without parole Sunday and first thing Monday morning signed modifications to the state’s homicide law repealing capital punishment. The New Jersey Public Defenders leave the field of capital litigation with a perfect record with no executions in the modern era.
Meantime, another capital exoneration , this time Jonathon Hoffman in North Carolina who had been sentenced to death, despite any substantial physical evidence, for the 1995 shooting of a jewelry store owner. John Jerome White was cleared by DNA evidence for the 1980 the rape and robbery of a 74-year-old woman. On his last day in office Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher commuted or pardoned commuted death row inmate Jeffrey Devan Leonard’s sentence to life without parole.