Local News

John Noland Prepares to Die Despite Celebrity Support

Posted November 12, 1998

— It is not often that inmates speak out from death row. WRAL's Amanda Lamb talked exclusively to one man who is scheduled to be executed next Friday.

John Noland has received a lot of support from family, friends and even strangers, including Dean Smith. But Noland says he is ready to die.

Noland appears remarkably calm for a man in his situation. He says there is nothing more he can do, and he would rather die then spend the rest of his life in prison.

"It's been a long, long haul," he said.

After 16 years on death row, Noland says he is ready for that long haul to end. He is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection. He has received some high profile support from former U.N.C. basketball coach Dean Smith, who is vehemently against the death penalty.

"It's not fair," Smith said. "In about 100 years from now they will say how could they have done that, it's barbaric."

But Noland says he does not want clemency.

"I'm not afraid to die," he said. "I feel like I'm going to the world of the innocent, and leaving the world of the guilty behind."

Noland was sentenced to die for killing his father-in-law and sister-in-law in Charlotte in 1982.

"I was insane at the time I committed the crimes," he said.

Despite what the prosecutor has said, Noland says he does have remorse about his crimes.

"I'm very sorry about what happened," he said. "I wish I could back my life up. I wish I could change everything."

Just as Noland cannot change anything, he believes the death penalty will not change anything either.

"It's about the almighty dollar. It's about politics. It's about racism," he said. "The public is told one thing, and believes another thing, when actually it's something else."

He says two of his three sisters plan to witness his execution to show him support in his last moments. If everything goes as planned, Noland will be the third person to be executed in North Carolina this year. The last time three people were executed in North Carolina in one year was 1953.

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