(AP) – DEATH ROW INMATE DIES
Inmate on SC’s death row for 37 years dies of natural causes
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say an inmate who had been on South Carolina’s death row for more than 37 years has died from a stroke. Sixty-year-old Donald Allen Jones was convicted of killing a dairy owner in Lancaster he briefly worked for and raping his wife during a robbery in 1983. Jones was the second-longest serving inmate on the state’s death row. Officials say 77-year-old Fred Singleton has been on death row five months longer for the 1982 rape and killing of a 73-year-old Newberry County woman. Thirty-five inmates remain on South Carolina’s death row after Jones’ death.
GOLF CART DEATH
Golf cart driver dies in crash on S. Carolina highway
DALZELL, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say a 74-year-old man is dead after the golf cart he was driving got struck by a car on a South Carolina highway. The State newspaper reports the South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash on S.C. 261 in Sumter County. Master Trooper Brian Lee of the Highway Patrol says the man was driving his golf cart on the road at 8:30 p.m. Friday when a car smashed into it from behind. The county coroner identified the victim as 74-year-old Frank Sanders of Sumter. The crash happened a few miles from Shaw Air Base. Authorities did not immediately announce any charges.
DEATH SENTENCE OVERTURNED
Judges order new sentence for S. Carolina man on death row
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court has ordered a new sentencing hearing for a South Carolina inmate who has spent more than two decades on death row. The State newspaper reports that Sammie Louis Stokes was sentenced to death in 1999 for the rape and murder of 21-year-old Connie Snipes in Orangeburg County. Court records show Stokes was paid $2,000 by the victim’s mother-in-law, who wanted Snipes dead to gain custody of her grandchildren. Judges for the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Stokes’ defense attorneys twice withheld evidence about Stokes’ abusive childhood and other traumas that may have influenced his sentencing. The judges ordered a new sentencing hearing, but did not set a deadline.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-JESSE JACKSON
Rev. Jesse Jackson, wife Jacqueline hospitalized for COVID
CHICAGO (AP) – The Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife, Jacqueline, have been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19. The famed 79-year-old civil rights leader is vaccinated against the virus and publicly received his first dose in January. According to a statement released Saturday evening, the Jacksons are being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Jesse Jackson was a protégé of the Rev. Martin Luther King and key in guiding the modern civil rights movement on numerous issues, including voting rights. Despite having been diagnosed for Parkinson’s disease, Jackson has remained active and has advocated for Black people to get vaccinated.
Death Row inmate in South Carolina dies in hospital
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A 60-year-old man who’d been on South Carolina’s death row since 1984 died Saturday at a hospital. Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford said Donald Allen Jones had been hospitalized since Wednesday. The preliminary cause of death is stroke but officials said an autopsy will be performed. The state Department of Corrections, in a news release, said Jones was the second-longest serving resident on South Carolina’s death row.
New rules require prosecutors to share evidence of innocence
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina prosecutors are now required to share evidence of innocence they find even after a defendant is convicted of a crime. The changes to the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct were announced last week. The new rules require a prosecutor to disclose any information when they become aware of “credible, material” evidence that indicates a defendant was wrongfully convicted. Also prosecutors who have “clear and convincing” evidence that a person was wrongfully convicted in their jurisdiction then have an ethical obligation to remedy the conviction. South Carolina is joining about two dozen other states with such rules.