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
In a recent article printed in the Washington Post, former Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson explains why although he carried out the death penalty as Governor, he now opposes it. Some of the reasons he cited include the failure to serve as a deterrent, the...read more
Four Inmates in Cumberland County have asked that the state Supreme Court reconsider the illegal effect of racism in their trials. They had previously used the North Carolina Racial Justice act to do so, but it was repealed in 2013. Some of the arguments in their two...read more
In an article written by Gretchen Engle, Executive Director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Engle deconstructs the myth that the death penalty punishes the "worst of the worst" offenders. The article explains that instead, death sentences are imposed in...read more
A man in Florida who was facing two death sentences has been exonerated. Ralph Daniel Wright Jr., a former sergeant, had been previously convicted of murdering his lover and their 15-month-old child in 2007. The Florida Supreme Court held that the evidence was...read more
"Darryl Hunt's spirit spoke innocence," said Dr. John Mendez of Emmanuel Baptist Church. This was a beautiful and succinct description of Mr. Hunt, who dedicated his life to eradicating the death penalty. He spent 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. ...read more
Prosecutors have the power to essentially stop the use of the death penalty. How? By pledging not to charge any defendants capitally. It really is that simple. Prosecutors have total control over whether a case is tried as a death penalty case or a case with the...read more