North Carolina Death Penalty News

Started by pizzpoor, May 01, 2007, 06:42:41 PM

previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Go Down


Every day you all get closer to my way of thinking...

What ever is right, what ever is wrong, your law on the dp don't work!

How can someone be incarcerated for 20 odd years without the opportunity of rehabilitation?

If you gonna kill them just kill them!

WHY take so long?

Does the law not work here?

Peter M.


Peter - the DP does work.  I'll grant you that it is frustrating that sometimes it takes an inordinant amount of time to carry out a sentence but - the process is in place to provide due process to those convicted and sentenced to death.  Per your point - "if you are gonna kill them; just kill them" - well, that wouldn't allow for the necessary appeals process.  In China, I believe that an offender is executed IMMEDIATELY upon being convicted and sentenced.  But here, we do things differently.  Yes, I would like to see the process streamlined in order to avoid having the scumbags sit on the row for so long.

And as for you Lloyd - easy on my HEELS now...  Duke yes, but not the Tarheels.


Seriously, I dunno what the answer is...

In this Country we near enough perfected having the dp with the appeals process being time limited and down to the government (aka Home Secretary) and not money grabbing lawyers but still the dp was abolished despite conclusive proof that it WAS a deterrent against, at least, repeat offenders (lol).

I believe that the dp question will go 'round in circles for all time with valid arguments presented by both sides.

Until such a time that the politics of the matter is eliminated I am afraid I will stay on the anti side of the fence - so to speak. This is not because I don't believe that justice should  be served but simply because of the way it does or does not happen...

Kind Regards,

Peter M.   


No resolution to death penalty dispute

Posted: Oct. 16, 2008
Updated: Oct. 16 6:43 p.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Three hours of testimony Thursday produced no resolution to a dispute over the how the state executes inmates.

Lawyers for death row inmates and the state argued over the execution protocol approved the Council of State. Attorneys for the inmates contend the council, which is made up of Gov. Mike Easley and eight other elected state officials, shouldn't have approved a protocol for lethal injection.

Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison Jr. ruled the method for executing inmates didn't ensure they wouldn't feel pain, and he ordered the council to revise the protocol. The council refused to do so.

Attorneys for the state maintain Morrison didn't have jurisdiction over the case, so Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said he would rule on the merits of whether inmates - or anyone - has the right to challenge how the Council of State operates.

But Stephens said he wouldn't hear the case until after the state Supreme Court rules on a separate dispute involving the death penalty.

That case, which Stephens handled last year, revolves around a North Carolina Medical Board policy that threatens to discipline any doctor who participates in an execution.

The high court is scheduled to hear arguments in that case on Nov. 18.

The two court cases have created a de facto moratorium on the death penalty in the state. North Carolina hasn't executed an inmate since August 2006.

Reporter: Stacy Davis
Web Editor: Matthew Burns


ATLANTA -- A North Carolina death row inmate has lost a bid to overturn an earlier murder conviction in Georgia, which was used against him at his sentencing in the North Carolina case.

Ted Anthony Prevatte was condemned for killing his girlfriend, Cynthia Bacon McIntyre, outside her Anson County, N.C., home in 1993.

That was two decades after Prevatte was convicted of the 1974 murder and armed robbery of James Rouse Jr. in Atlanta. He was sentenced to die but was paroled in 1991 after the Georgia Supreme Court overturned his death sentence.

On Tuesday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal district judge's rejection of Prevatte's claims that his constitutional rights were violated in his Georgia trial.
I´m not sure if there´s a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Heidi Salazar

In N.C., death penalty gets rarer

This is a partial article..follow the link for the full story. There are also links to other interesting NC death penalty news.

In the 31 years since the punishment was reinstated, the numbers of death cases heard and sentences handed out have steeply declined

Dan Kane - Staff Writer
Published: Tue, Dec. 30, 2008 04:20AMModified Tue, Dec. 30, 2008 11:28AM

North Carolina will finish this year with just one defendant sentenced to death, a record low since the penalty was reinstated 31 years ago.

The single capital murder conviction this year continues a downward trend fueled by better criminal defense lawyers and new laws that exclude the mentally challenged and make prosecution evidence more accessible.

In North Carolina, more people on death row have been exonerated this year -- two -- than were sentenced to death. A de facto death penalty moratorium in North Carolina -- as the courts, state officials and the medical profession debate the ethics of lethal injections -- has prevented anyone from being executed for the past two years


This year, 13 juries could have chosen death for defendants. Only one in Forsyth County did. Last month, a jury there gave the death sentence to James Ray Little III for shooting a cab driver to death two years ago in Winston-Salem. There will be no more capital murder trials before Wednesday, the end of the year.

"Only one death sentence, when you think about it, is extraordinary," said Gerda Stein, a spokeswoman for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, which represents death row defendants who appeal their sentences.

The numbers suggest that juries are less likely to impose the ultimate punishment. In 1996, there were 60 capital trials resulting in 34 death sentences in North Carolina.

The decline in death sentences is a national trend, but North Carolina's is among the most pronounced, according to the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C.


JANUARY 15, 2009:


NC lawmakers examine death penalty change

A North Carolina defense attorney is asking legislators to ensure justice and fairness by banning the execution of death row inmates who suffer from severe mental illness.

Attorney Kimberly Stevens of Winston-Salem spoke Thursday to a legislative committee examining a proposal that could remove the death penalty as a sentencing option for some suspects accused of first-degree murder.

Under the legislation, a judge could declare a suspect has a severe mental disability. If convicted, the person would face a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

State law already bars a death sentence for the mentally retarded. North Carolina juries also can find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity.

The bill could be considered after the Legislature convenes later this month.

(source: Associated Press)

North Carolina juries also can find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity.

If a jury can find a defendant not guilty by reason of insanity, then we need this legislation on mental illness/disability - WHY???????   



What follows below is from a North Carolina anti site, but most of it is quite informative. For instance, I hadn't known that the NC Senate had passed an amendment mandating that there can't be more than one execution every 30 days.

Where the Death Penalty Stands in North Carolina

It has been more than two years since anyone was executed in North Carolina. In the last few weeks, several legislative actions and court decisions have made it seem likely that executions will resume in the near future. What is really going on?

Medical Board

On May 1st, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued its decision in a lawsuit between the North Carolina Medical Board and the NC Department of Correction. The Medical Board, an agency responsible for licensing and regulation of doctors in North Carolina, had issued a policy stating that doctors cannot ethically participate in executions. The Department of Correction claimed that it was unable to find a doctor willing to assist with lethal injection, and that it was therefore unable to execute its inmates. The DOC sued, and the NCSC ruled that because the legislature has required physician participation in executions, it is not within the power of the Medical Board to sanction doctors for doing so.

Council of State

On May 13th, Wake County judge Donald Stephens issued a decision denying and dismissing the claims brought by several death row inmates against the Council of State, a body of elected officials responsible for, among other things, approving North Carolina's lethal injection protocol. The inmates had alleged that the Council did not follow proper administrative procedure in approving the protocol. Judge Stephens found that the inmates did not have standing to challenge the Council's decision, and that the Council's approval was not subject to further review by any court.

Lethal Injection

Judge Stephens also issued an order setting a hearing during the June 1 session of court for oral argument on the remaining 8th Amendment issues in the inmates' case. Both parties are expected to brief the impact of the US Supreme Court's decision in Baze v. Rees on the question of whether the North Carolina lethal injection protocol is cruel and unusual.


The Senate chamber of the North Carolina General Assembly voted this week to approve the Racial Justice Act, which would allow pre-trial defendants as well as death row inmates to challenge the decision to seek or impose the death penalty in their case if it was based on impermissible racial bias. The bill passed with an amendment which prohibited the Medical Board and other health care agencies from disciplining medical professionals involved in executions, removed the requirement that the Council of State approve the execution protocol, and mandated that executions cannot occur more than once every 30 days.

What Happens Now

There will be no appeal in the Medical Board litigation, but it is possible for the inmates to appeal Judge Stephens' decision in the Council of State matter; some of Stephens' findings were contrary to an earlier ruling by another judge.  A specific date has not yet been set for the hearing on the 8th Amendment issues related to lethal injection. Finally, the House has yet to pass the Racial Justice Act, and if it does, any discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of the bill will need to be worked out.

It is hard to say exactly if or when executions will resume in North Carolina.  Injunctions are still in place preventing the State from re-setting executions dates for the six residents of death row who were scheduled to be executed before the moratorium began.

What we do know is that our system of capital punishment remains imperfect. In the years we have been without executions, three innocent men were freed from death row, having served a combined 41 years and faced death for crimes they did not commit.  Many of those who will face execution when the moratorium ends were convicted in an era when the standards for performance by defense counsel and fairness from prosecutors were far below what they are today.  No one should be executed until all litigation is resolved and the known flaws with North Carolina's death penalty have been remedied.


What possibly could be the use of mandating no more than one execution every thirty days?  I don't see the difference between dispatching 11 or 15 inmates per year - except, of course, the additional four scumbags six feet under.

Texas has executed 15 men this year to date, and the state doesn't appear to have sunk into the Gulf of Mexico.
JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.


Committee OKs bill meant to help defendants challenge death penalty

A bill that would establish a new pro­cedure for defendants to challenge the use of the death penalty advanced yesterday in the General Assembly.

The bill, known as the "North Carolina Racial Justice Act," was approved 7-5 by a committee in the state House. It now moves to a different committee before coming up for a vote in the full House. The Senate passed a previous version of the bill last month.

Supporters of the bill say it would give defendants and death-row inmates clear legal channels through which they could argue that the application of capital punishment was racially motivated, either on the part of a prosecutor who sought the death penalty or on the part of a jury that imposed the death penalty.

"It takes steps toward eradicating the problem of racial bias in the capital-punishment process," said Jeremy Collins, the campaign coordinator of the N.C. Coalition for a Moratorium.

Two of the bill's chief supporters in the legislature are two Winston-Salem Democrats: Rep. Earline Parmon and Rep. Larry Womble.

Opponents say that the bill, while well-intentioned, goes too far because it would allow defendants to use statistical evidence from previous cases to show racial bias.

For instance, if a black death-row inmate proved that, in his county, other black defendants were significantly more likely than white defendants to be sentenced to death, that would be enough for a judge to throw out the inmate's death sentence.

The sentence would be converted to life in prison without parole.

State Rep. Sarah Stevens, R-Surry, argued yesterday that statistics can be misleading. Simply showing racial disparities in overall death sentences is not an accurate picture, she said.

"Who's committed the crimes?" Stevens asked.

"How many of the white race have created this murder? How many of the black race have created this murder?"

Supporters of the bill said that there is vast evidence suggesting that race has historically been a factor in the use of capital punishment, both nationwide and in North Carolina.

The bill had gotten held up last week in the House committee because many supporters and opponents wanted to speak on the bill.

It had appeared that the bill would be stalled for at least two weeks, but the committee's chairman scheduled a new meeting yesterday afternoon for the committee to take up the bill again.

After about 45 minutes of debate, the vote was taken and the bill was narrowly approved.

(source: Winston-Salem Journal)

heidi salazar

NC House panel narrowly OKs death penalty change

North Carolina House lawmakers again have narrowly approved legislation designed to prevent a murder suspect or death row prisoner with severe mental illness from facing capital punishment.

A House appropriations subcommittee voted 5-4 Wednesday in favor of creating a process whereby the death penalty would be removed as a sentencing option for a murder defendant with a severe mental disability. The maximum penalty would be life in prison without parole.

The measure passed a judiciary committee last week and now heads to the House floor.

Opponents said criminal procedure already allow jurors to take mental illness into account at sentencing. A state attorney says the bill creates a process that would cost millions of dollars to carry out if it became law.

source: Associated Press


Lest we forget, the execution of prisoners with "severe mental disability" would already be precluded by Atkins v. Virginia.  North Carolina legislators seem to be being paid new money for old rope, as the saying goes, by making illegal acts which are already illegal.
JT's Ridiculous Quote of the Century:
"I'm disgusted with the State for even putting me in this position."
-- Reginald Blanton, Texas death row.  As of October 27, 2009, Reggie's position has been in a coffin.


RALEIGH, N.C. -- North Carolina's General Assembly has approved making the state the second in the country to allow attorneys to use statistical data to try and show racial bias was behind the decision of prosecutors to seek or jurors to impose the death penalty.

The Senate voted 25-18 on Wednesday for a measure the NAACP and other advocates said was needed in a state that has released three black men from death row. If Gov. Beverly Perdue signs the legislation, North Carolina would join Kentucky with legislation supporters called the Racial Justice Act.

District attorneys, sheriffs and victims advocates said the measure would make death penalty prosecutions too difficult.

North Carolina has not had an execution in nearly three years.



"If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself." Albert Einstein


Henry Louis Wallace has lost his federal habeas appeal to the Fourth Circuit. North Carolina will surely have one heck of a backlog to work through once their Eighth Amendment lethal-injection problems have been resolved. By the way, does anyone know what's been going on with the 8th Amendment/LI suit before Judge Donald Stephens in Wake County Superior Court?


20 Changes For 2010: Death Penalty

he tenth recommendation in the Civitas Institute 2010 Agenda: "20 Changes for 2010: A Primer for State Reform" focuses on ending the death penalty moratorium and carrying out jury verdicts.

The Problem: North Carolina currently has a de-facto moratorium on the death penalty and has enacted more legislative roadblocks to carrying out executions as ordered by juries.

North Carolinians go about their daily lives assuming that if a loved one is murdered in cold blood there is a chance the murderer will pay the ultimate penalty and forfeit their life. The last death penalty sentence, however, was carried out on August 18, 2006 and recent legislative and administrative actions have resulted in a moratorium on death sentences ordered by duly empowered juries of citizens.

Solution: Insure justice and deterrence by restoring the death penalty.

In October 2009, 71.3 percent of NC voters in a Civitas poll said they disapproved of allowing convicted murderers to challenge a death sentence by claiming race was a factor in sentencing.


10.) Pass legislation that would remove the retroactive portion of the misnamed "Racial Justice Act" and immediately resume the carrying out of legally imposed death sentences.

A number of academic studies by economists, social scientists and others have shown that the death penalty deters some murders. (For information on these studies contact Civitas.) According to House Republican Leader Paul Stam (R-Wake), "Justice delayed is justice denied.  In addition to the families of the victims of these 158 inmates, I believe that innocent people were victims of homicide because of this de facto moratorium." Professors Roberto Marchesini and Dale Cloninger of the University of Houston found a 21-month court-imposed moratorium in Texas likely caused 90 additional homicides.

For those worried about possible mistakes, on average 8 to 15 years pass before executions are carried out in North Carolina. Capital cases are reviewed by an average of 47 state and federal judges, all looking at claims of error in the trial or claims of innocence. Of the 43 murderers executed since 1977, there have been no credible claims of "actual innocence." Additionally, 65 percent of those actually executed have been white, which puts a new light on the claim most were minorities.

A partial list of those who are currently being spared the death penalty:
Inmate Wallace (Mecklenburg): 9 murders / 13 rapes
Inmate Frogg (Forsyth): 6 murders
Inmate Robinson (Bladen): 6 murders
Inmate Phillips (Moore): 5 murders
Inmate Smith (Buncombe): 4 murders / 1 manslaughter
Inmate Wilkinson (Cumberland): 3 murders / 5 rapes
Inmate Lane (Wayne): 1 murder / 1 child rape
I´m not sure if there´s a hell, but I believe in executed murderers.

Go Up