Local News

State Bill Calls For Moratorium On Executions Involving Mentally Retarded

Posted February 27, 2001 6:00 a.m. EST

— AGeneral Assemblybill has added a complicated wrinkle to an upcoming execution.

Ernest McCarver is scheduled to die for the 1987 murder of a Concord man. During a clemency hearing, McCarver's attorneys and death penalty opponents told Governor Mike Easley that McCarver has an IQ under 70.

A pending bill is calling for a moratorium on executions involving the mentally retarded.

"How will it be if that moratorium is delayed and this man is executed, and then a few days or a few weeks from now, the law against executing mentally retarded is passed," says death penalty opponent Nicholas Hopkins.

Prosecutors are claiming that McCarver may be trying to appear less intelligent than he really is.