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Woman removed from NC death row

Posted June 21, 2013

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— A Wilson woman who has spent more than two decades on death row was re-sentenced Thursday to life in prison after a judge determined her attorneys made mistakes in her trial and appeals.

Patricia Jennings was sentenced to death in 1990 for the beating death of her 80-year-old husband, Bill Jennings.

Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons ruled that Patricia Jennings' lawyers failed to have jurors consider that she had no prior criminal history, a mitigating factor that might have led to a life sentence.

Now 70, Patricia Jennings also agreed to drop a claim that faulty lab results from the State Bureau of Investigation helped convict her. In return, prosecutors agreed not to challenge her new sentence.

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  • thatguy09 Jun 21, 2013

    Sounds like tough luck to me, and I'm sure they probably had close to 2 yrs to prepare for the trial.....why don't we go back and review every murder from twenty years ago...I'm sure we can think of some ridiculous reasons to release a few

  • stymieindurham Jun 21, 2013

    So, this took 20 years to determine?!!!!

  • Billy the Kid Jun 21, 2013

    No criminal record and she was still able to commit murder. Her victim isn't any less dead, so who cares?

  • Hugh Jass Jun 21, 2013

    This is poor justice at it's finest. All you gotta do is say you stumped your toe during the trial and they apologize by changing your sentence. Get a hang nail and you'll be given a full pardon. Jeeze.

  • ripetomatoes Jun 21, 2013

    If the lack of a criminal record had been important, even a Wilson lawyer could have figured a way to mention it.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 21, 2013

    "Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons ruled that Patricia Jennings' lawyers failed to have jurors consider that she had no prior criminal history, a mitigating factor that might have led to a life sentence."

    Should not matter. It does not make the person she killed any less dead. He has been dead for twenty years, time for her to join that status. Now if he was beating her or abusing her in some terrible way, then I can see that as a mitigating factor.

  • ncdime1235 Jun 21, 2013

    Actually she was 47 at the time.

  • smiley1637 Jun 21, 2013

    I live in Wilson and this trial was the front page of the paper everyday....she tortured him!

  • dare107 Jun 21, 2013

    Why don't you put an ankle bracelet on her and send her home. Liberal judges!

  • soulbrother4dems Jun 21, 2013

    She better be glad she wasn't born a Black man!

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