Americans and North Carolinians are trending away from supporting the death penalty. Across North Carolina, juries in capital cases are opting for life in prison, instead of the death penalty. North Carolina juries are sending a consistent message that they prefer life sentences over death.
The trend away from capital punishment is not just a phenomena in North Carolina, but across the country. North Carolina is among the majority of states, 26, plus 3 jurisdictions (District of Columbia, Federal Government, and Military), that has not executed a single person in the last ten years. In the minority of states that are still executing people, the number of prisoners executed is falling steadily.
From the Death Penalty Information Center
- Innocence and the Death Penalty
Comprehensive lists of exonerees, innocence cases and more.
- Mental Illness and the Death Penalty
Research, cases and resources around mental illness and the death penalty.
From the NC Department of Public Safety
Death Penalty News
Death Row Exonerees in North Carolina (1974-2016)
- Samuel Poole (1974)
- Christopher Spicer (1975)
- Tim Hennis (1989)
- Alfred Rivera (1999)
- Alan Gell (2004)
- Jonathan Hoffman (2007)
- Glen Chapman (2008)
- Levon ‘Bo’ Jones (2008)
- David Gainey (2010)
- Henry McCollum (2014)
Non-Death Row Exonerees in North Carolina (1974-08)
- Ronald Cotton (1995)
- Darryl Hunt (2003)
- Dwayne Dail (2007)
From Our Blog: Death Penalty Updates
While prosecutors have a large amount of discretion in their work, they are not permitted to hide evidence that could be exculpatory for a defendant. In a recent Colorado case, prosecutors possessed two reports that that pointed to other suspects since the beginning...read more
On Wednesday, a Wake County jury sentenced Donovan Richardson to life in prison for his role in a 2014 double murder. He is one of three men accused in the crime of murdering two elderly men at their home in Fuquay Varina. One of the other men pleaded guilty and will...read more
The US Supreme Court issued Georgia death row inmate Keith Tharpe a stay of execution last week because of racial bias from a juror who sentenced him back in 1990 for the murder of his sister-in-law, Jacquelin Freeman. The justices granted him the stay while they...read more
In a display of courage and commitment to justice, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens halted the execution of Marcellus Williams mere hours before he was scheduled to be executed on Tuesday. DNA testing raised questions about whether he had committed a murder during a...read more
By Amanda Witwer, UNC-Chapel Hill Public Policy Student Apart from being an avid reader and a devoted Tarheel fan, my pen pal is an inmate who has spent the last nineteen years of his life on North Carolina's death row. Out of respect for his privacy, I will refer to...read more
This month, Carolina Justice Policy Center Intern Olivia Pennoyer visited an inmate on death row. She documented her experience in an essay: This summer I met a man on death row. Usually when this fact finds its way into conversations with friends and family, they...read more