Local News

Legal Group Wants State To Re-Examine Process For Death Penalty Cases

Posted September 11, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— A growing number of people are calling for the state of North Carolina to stop killing criminals.

The latest group to support the end of the death penalty is theNorth Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. The group cites various studies showing the system that puts people on death row makes too many fatal mistakes.

"A growing number of people in our state have come to recognize how flagrantly flawed our system is," says James Ferguson, president of the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Supporters say even suspending the death penalty for a short period of time would be damaging, because there would be one less deterrent to commit murder.

The death penalty is under attack in other states. Thirty-eight states allow the death penalty. Of those, 16 are considering a ban on executions. Illinois has already banned its death penalty.

North Carolina currently has 213 inmates on death row. The state ranks fifth in the country behind California, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania.