"In N.C., death penalty gets rarer."
That headline in the morning paper might be surprising given that public support of the death penalty remains high. A Gallop Poll conducted as recently as October showed 64 percent of Americans in favor of executing people convicted of murder. But that was down from 69 percent a year earlier and other polls show the percentage in favor of putting murderers to death falls far below 50 percent when the alternative of life without parole is presented.
The overall support for death penalty has been clashing in recent years with substantial discomfort with the way it has been carried out and a growing number of obstacles to actually putting people to death. Staff Writer Dan Kane, who examined decisions by prosecutors and trial results from around the state, explains why just one person has been sentenced to death in North Carolina this year.
No one has been executed here since August 2006.