"NC Murder Rates, Death Penalty Both See Declines," is Stephanie Carroll Carson post at the North Carolina Public News Service.
In the wake of the recent Connecticut school shootings, there is some positive news to report about deaths in North Carolinap>
The state's murder rate is down once again this year, its sixth without an execution. Also this year, for the first time in 35 years, no jury sentenced an inmate to Death Row.
Tye Hunter, executive director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, says there are better uses for the more than $10 million spent annually on pursuing death-penalty cases.
In court time and in prosecutors' time, it's a huge amount of money. And it's really just, at this point, going for nothing."
Hunter says issues in the state's crime lab, along with juries' greater skepticism of evidence presented by prosecutors are among the contributing factors to the absence of death-penalty sentences. He says money spent in litigating these cases could be used for victims' families or for education in the state.
Hunter says it's also important to remember that jurors are dismissed from capital murder cases if they say they are opposed to the death penalty.
So, you've only got people on the jury who can say, 'I could give the death penalty in the appropriate case.' And yet, in case after case after case, they're finding this isn't an appropriate case."
Earlier coverage from North Carolina begins at the link.