Civitas Review

Where Does NC Stand on the Death Penalty?


The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled last week that capital punishment is unconstitutional in that state. Connecticut had recently enacted a law under which the death penalty could not be enacted in future cases but convicted criminals who had been sentenced to death would have their sentences carried out. This new ruling, however, commutes all such sentences. So where does North Carolina stand?

The Connecticut high court’s ruling raises again the question about when the decision is going to be made here in North Carolina about the death penalty and the Racial Justice Act. In April 2014, the North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments about the Racial Justice Act – but has yet to deliver a ruling. While the media seems to focus on the criminals on death row, the question still remains: What about the victims and those they left behind? The families who are waiting for the North Carolina Supreme Court to rule have been living this nightmare since 2001 or 1997 or 1992. Could you imagine not having closure to the death of your loved one because our courts don’t know what to rule?

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