A North Carolina House committee voted to ban inmates on death row from watching television, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. The bill responds to a murderer's letter to a newspaper bragging about his life on death row. Danny Hembree Jr., 50, said, “Is the public aware that I am a gentleman of leisure, watching color TV in the (air conditioning), reading, taking naps at will, eating three well balanced hot meals a day [ ] Kill me if you can, suckers.”
Rules Committee Chairman Tim Moore, who visited death row, saw inmates using headphones to listen to the TVs, one with a Lionel Richie video playing. “For someone convicted of such a heinous crime, it's [ ] it's just wrong,” he said. Rep. John Blust asked “why stop at death row,” suggesting a complete eradication of TVs from the penitentiary system. Moore responded that studies have shown that television can be used to encourage good behavior.