Bill to remove TVs from death row moves forward

The warden of central prison warns that removing televisions from death row could "escalate security issues."

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Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — The House Judiciary C Committee has approved H 1008: No Televisions on Death Row. As we reported in an earlier post, the bill was prompted by a death row inmate who wrote a letter to the editor saying that he led a life of leisure. 

Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said that outraged people in his area.

"Anything we can do to make death row a less pleasant place, we should do," Moore said.

Central Prison Warden Ken Lassiter said the inmate in question no longer has access to television. And he warned that taking television away from all death row inmates could pose security issues. Television is one of the few things that can occupy the death row inmates, who are not allowed to participate in many programs with regular prisoners.

"It has the potential to escalate security issues inside the facility," Lassiter said.

On a voice vote, the committee was audibly divided, and Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange, called for division so that votes could be counted. But Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, who was chairing the meeting, said the voice vote was sufficient and moved on.

The bill next goes to the appropriations committee, and then on to the House floor. 

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