TO THE EDITOR: Since 1977, at least six people have been wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in North Carolina. That means that for every seven people executed in our state, one innocent person has been released from death row. Unless current flaws can be addressed, the next innocent inmate might not be so lucky.
I think fashion is fascinating. New fashions are always a complete surprise to me. I never even have a vague idea of what they are going to be. I could probably make educated forecasts on the future of the economy, social norms and television programs - but I couldn't predict one color other than black. This is probably because I don't have the remotest fashion sense. It consists of one question: "Would women like to see me wearing this?"
Student Body President Matt Calabria has decided to allow students serving in the executive branch of student government to engage in campaign activity without resigning their posts. But it's not a good idea to let prominent executive branch officials, such as officers and Cabinet members, participate in campus campaigns during the spring. It could create major conflicts of interest.
On Monday, a Guilford County judge stayed the execution of Charles Walker for the 1992 murder of Tito Davidson. Superior Court Judge John Craig made the right decision. Walker's execution should have been stayed - and all other state executions should be delayed to allow for a two-year death penalty moratorium so officials can examine the system.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is staying true to its mission by putting pressure on the University to ensure that it isn't causing animals to suffer as test subjects for insufficient reasons. But the group would do serious and unjustified damage to UNC if its letter to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism succeeds in stemming the flow of certain federal research funds to the University.
Americans live in a litigious society. In one sense, this is a good thing - if people believe they have been wronged or mistreated, they can bring their grievances before the courts. But as has been proven, the impulse to file charges or suits against others can easily get out of hand.
Thanksgiving Break's come and gone, and we've come upon the last week of classes. This last stretch might seem hopeless for some and tantalizingly close to a finish for others, but regardless of situations or expectations, we should all keep in mind the timeless and perhaps clich
When lawmakers look at education, they usually focus on funding priorities, teacher certification and test standardization. Slightly lower on the scale are the needs of autistic children and other students who require special treatment in public schools. It's time for N.C. legislators to pay closer attention to these students and to implement new guidelines or rules about how teachers treat them - because recent evidence suggests that some kids could use the help of policy-makers.
State legislators would do well to repair a situation in which more than 10,000 drunk driving cases are dismissed each year, according to an analysis by The Charlotte Observer. That's one in every five suspects who gets off free - and that's simply too many cases that are slipping through the cracks. The Observer found that the charges primarily are dismissed not because of weak evidence but because either police officers or the suspects don't show up for their court dates.
Roy Cooper, the state's attorney general, took a necessary step last week when he made clear his intention to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unless it addresses potential violations of the Clean Air Act by groups in other states. The Tennessee Valley Authority, which Cooper also plans to sue, and other government agencies in nearby states should be held accountable for evidence that coal-fired power plants in those states are contributing to air pollution in North Carolina.
Recently, there's been some bad blood between the UNC-system Association of Student Governments and UNC-Chapel Hill's student leaders. UNC-CH Student Body President Matt Calabria shouldn't allow that blood to thicken. Despite his assertion that this campus would be better off doing "its own thing," the University and the ASG need each other. Calabria wrote ASG President Amanda Devore a five-page letter detailing his complaints about the association. Devore responded with 10 pages that included rebuttals of some of Calabria's claims.
In making a decision to withdraw its financial support from WUNC-FM, Ipas has made a move that harms both the Chapel Hill-based international women's heath group and the radio station. WUNC has lost the backing of one of its sponsors, and Ipas has abandoned a valuable medium through which it could advertise its services to a needy public. Ipas canceled its sponsorship of WUNC after the station eliminated the term "reproductive rights" from an underwriting announcement.
Football coach John Bunting experienced two personal victories Saturday. One was beating Duke in convincing fashion to reclaim the Victory Bell, which the Blue Devils snatched away from the Tar Heels last season. The second was a Saturday announcement by UNC Chancellor James Moeser that he would recommend a two-year contract extension for Bunting to the University's Board of Trustees. Any rumors about Bunting's job going to someone else next year effectively have been quashed.
According to The Associated Press, an outside consultant's recent report recommends that the UNC system guarantee every N.C. community-college student a spot at one of the 16 UNC-system schools upon completion of a two-year associate general-education degree program. State legislators should not interfere with the UNC system's admissions autonomy by requiring it to accept any particular group of students.
Members of the Downtown Economic Development Corporation took a serious misstep Wednesday when they went into closed session to talk about how to spend the public's money. In doing so, they run the risk of alienating the very people - the residents and companies of the town - for whom they are working. Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy told The (Durham) Herald-Sun that the board was expected to function like a public body, which must meet very specific criteria outlined by state law to move into closed session.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College administrators ventured into dangerous territory when they pulled the plug on an instructor's showing of "Fahrenheit 9/11" in class during the week before Nov. 2. They probably didn't know what wire they were tripping over. RCCC's administration should apologize for suspending Davis March, an instructor at the college for more than 20 years. March acted within the acceptable limits of an academic setting - he should not have been censored in his approach.
When Playboy's "Girls of the ACC" issue came out this year, people approached me about it constantly. They wanted to know why, as a feminist, I wasn't up in arms about it or, at the very least, making some kind of an issue out of it. And I'll be completely honest with you: I ducked the subject. I didn't avoid it because I didn't care. I avoided it because I wasn't sure where I stood. I think that my feelings are on par with those of a lot of women my age, and perhaps with those of most women in general.