Capital punishment, better known as the death penalty in North Carolina, is a legal sentence is over half of US states. Although legal in the majority of states, executions have been declining since 1999. That year saw 98 executions in the United States. North Carolina hasn’t used the most extreme punishment since 2006.
That is not to say the North Carolina criminal laws has abolished the death penalty. It remains the highest level of punishment under the NC structured sentencing guidelines.
If a loved-one is facing allegations of First Degree Murder charges in North Carolina, it’s imperative to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney prior to making ANY statement or cooperating in any way with police.
Seek legal representation for criminal charges immediately. Exercise the right to remain silent. Request legal counsel if you cannot afford an attorney. Say nothing to anyone about the felony criminal charges without the protection of the attorney-client privilege – John Fanney, NC Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist
If you Googled, “Criminal Defense Lawyers Near Me,” or “Lawyers who handle Murder Charges in Raleigh NC,” we’re here to help. John Fanney is an experienced courtroom attorney and legal advocate. Our law firm provides a FREE CASE EVALUATION on Wake County criminal charges. That’s true for both felony or misdemeanor charges in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Murder charges in North Carolina (both 1st Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Murder) are felony charges. Indeed, all homicide charges in North Carolina are felony offenses.
Public Support for the Death Penalty is Declining
While legal and still used across the nation, public support for capital punishment is growing smaller. About 49% of Americans report being in favor of the death penalty, while 42% directly oppose it. This is down from 80% of American supporting the death penalty in 1994. Levels of the opposition are the highest they have been since 1972.
When surveyed, the majority of respondents indicated they preferred a punishment other than the death penalty. The largest portion, 39% favored life without parole plus restitution.
Things Can Go Wrong with the Death Penalty
Likely one reason public support has declined is the fact that sometimes there are problems with executions. Even though putting people to death has been used as a punishment for many years, it’s not a perfect process. Lethal injections are the go-to method currently, but there have been problems even within the last few years.
Joseph Wood’s execution occurred in July of 2014. It took two hours for him to die and witnesses state they believed he was in pain and gasping for air. Other examples include Dennis McGuire whose execution was in January 2014. This death sentence occurred in Ohio and it took 24 minutes, start to finish. Reports stated that McGuire was gasping for air for 10 to 13 minutes during this time.
McGuire was injected with a combination of two drugs that had never been used in the United States. There are lawsuits in several states where anything but the traditional three-drug combination is used. This is something to keep in mind as grounds for an appeal if your state would be using something besides the three-drug combo for your sentence.
Your criminal defense lawyer Raleigh NC will be well aware of the fact that capital trials often cost much more than non-capital trials. While the costs associated with the actual execution aren’t crazy, the years of appeals of trial fees seriously add up.
Inmates on death-row are also much more expensive to house. They are kept segregated from general prison populations and usually have meals delivered to them. They also require one or more guards wherever they go.
In Oklahoma, cases where a death sentence is involved cost 3.2 times more than non-capital cases. In Texas, the state that executes the most people, each death sentence case costs on average 2.3 million. This is three times the amount it would cost the state to house someone in a maximum security facility for 40 years.
The Death Penalty in North Carolina is not a deterrent
One of the most important things to know about the death penalty is that it really doesn’t work as a deterrent for future crime.
Even though the rate of executions are decreasing, crime rates (including homicides) are also declining!
Interestingly enough, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, the South had the highest murder rate even though Southern states are responsible for around 80% of United States executions.
The number of defendants receiving a death sentence has also steadily been on the decline. This means fewer people are ending up on death row for long periods of time.
Mental Disability and the Death Penalty
There is a good reason people surveyed about the death penalty mention being concerned about innocent people dying. Since 1973, 151 people have been released from death row. This after evidence proving their innocence. One example of this is defendants who falsely confess due to intellectual disabilities. Another example is when witnesses later recant their testimony.
Call our law firm NOW for Legal Representation on Serious Felony Charges NC
North Carolina Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist John Fanney helps people with Murder charges in North Carolina and allegations of Manslaughter in Raleigh, NC. He also provides legal representation in criminal charges for:
- Death by Vehicle
- Sex Crimes
- Indecent Liberties with a Minor
- Sex Offense
- Drug Offenses
- Drug Trafficking
- Possession with Intent to Sell Deliver
- Possession Charges
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
You can contact us at your convenience and we will get right to work in helping you.