News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: DNA on murder weapon isn't from executed man; lawmakers embrace firing-squad executions

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DNA evidence

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DNA suggests murder was carried out by someone other than executed man

DNA tests on a murder weapon and a bloody shirt are not a match with the man executed for carrying out the crime, according to lawyers from the Innocence Project and the American Civil Liberties Union. Arkansas inmate Ledell Lee had maintained his innocence until his execution in 2017. The evidence was tested after Lee’s sister filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit with the help of the two groups and Hogan Lovells. The lead prosecutor has said she thinks Lee was a serial predator and pointed to his two convictions for rape. A neighbor had testified in the murder case that she saw Lee enter and leave the victim’s home. (The Washington Post, the New York Times, the Innocence Project, the FOIA lawsuit)

South Carolina governor says he’ll sign firing-squad bill

The South Carolina House of Representatives has passed a bill that would requires death row inmates to choose death by firing squad or the electric chair if lethal injection drugs aren’t available. The bill “appears almost certain to become law in the next few days,” according to the New York times. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, has said he will sign the bill. (The New York Times, the Associated Press, Axios)

Reed Smith embraces new flexible work policy

Reed Smith will fully reopen its 17 U.S. offices by Sept. 7, but lawyers and staff will be operating under a more flexible work policy. Staff members will be categorized as office-based, hybrid or fully flexible. Lawyers will be required to maintain a routine physical presence in the office, but they won’t be required to work a certain number of days. Several other law firms have also targeted Sept. 7 for a return to the office. (Bloomberg Law, Reuters)

ABA offers update for app that stores advance directives, medical info

The ABA, in cooperation with Mind Your Loved Ones, has updated its mobile app that stores critical medical information, including advance health care directives. The updated app allows users to share their medical profile with another person with just a few clicks. The price is discounted at the ABA website; members get a better deal. (ABA press release, the app download information)

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