Guy LeGrande Execution only the latest problem to come out of Anson County
Cross post at Mark Kleinschmidt's personal blog
The antics of Anson County prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement over the last 10 years are more appropriate for a prime time drama (or comedy) than in service as elected public servants. Admittedly, there's still a lot to learn about how deep the corruption runs, but a run down of the almost farcical antics infecting capital litigation in Anson County scream out for at least a moratorium on executions for cases arising in that judicial district.
1. This week the state announced an execution date for Guy LeGrande. His execution is scheduled for 2:00 am December 1, 2006. Read here about the circus that was Mr. LeGrande's trial. I'm sure you'll hear a lot more about this case in the near future, but here are some of my favorite outrageous facts: He represented himself, wore a superman t-shirt in court, and how about this for fairness: Pointing to Mr. LeGrande's outrageous behavior during trial, LeGrande's standby counsel pleaded with the judge to have Mr. LeGrande evaluated for competency, Judge Steelman responded by asking Mr. LeGrande if he thought he needed a competency evaluation.
Surprisingly the incompetent defendant rejected an evaluation. The Judge then said, "Let's proceed."
2. Former LeGrande prosecutor Ken Honeycutt and former assistant Scott Brewer are being investigated by the bar for hiding evidence in another death penalty case (Jonathan Hoffman). Hoffman received a new trial when evidence of prosecutorial misconduct was presented to a judge (not Steelman, he was on the Court of Appeals by then) in post-conviction.
3. The case of Floyd Brown, covered recently by a hard-digging investigative reporter at the Charlotte Observer. Brown has mental retardation. There is no dispute. He's so impaired that 13 years ago he was declared incompetent to stand trial. Suddenly earlier this year he was found competent, i.e. he could say what his charges were and had some general idea of who his attorneys were and what they were there for. The Anson County DA started to prosecute the guy even though there is literally no evidence against him. Everything has "disappeared" from the custody of local law enforcement. Read more here. If you want to read the Charlotte Observer stories you'll have to pay for them. Go to Charlotte.com and search for "Floyd Brown" in the archives.
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