North Carolina’s residents be alert: Death penalty controversy reignites following Alabama nitrogen gas execution

Kenneth Smith was the first person executed in Alabama with nitrogen gas last week.

Kristin Collins is the Director of Public Information for the Center for Death Penalty Litigation. She calls Alabama’s choice horrible.

“It couldn’t have made any clearer how cruel and inhumane and brutal the death penalty is than this whole spectacle we just saw in Alabama,” Collins added.

The electric chair, gas chamber, and death injection have all been utilized in Central Prison. However, in 1998, lethal injection became the only method of execution in North Carolina.

Samuel Flippen was the last person executed in North Carolina after murdering his 2-year-old stepdaughter. That execution occurred over 18 years ago, in 2006.

North Carolina's residents be alert: Death penalty controversy reignites following Alabama nitrogen gas execution

Steven Greene, a political science professor at North Carolina State University, stated that this is where the state stands about the death sentence.

“Republicans have had full legislative control for years, and they can override Roy Cooper’s vetoes.” if the Republicans wanted to ensure that we executed more individuals, they would be able to find a method to accomplish that legislatively,” Greene added.

According to the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction, there are 136 inmates on death row in the state. Executions have been halted due to pending litigation and appeals, according to court documents, and Collins believes they will not be resumed soon.

“I truly hope that if North Carolina makes international news it won’t be you know, for using novel ways of killing people,” he remarked.

Activists are pressing Gov. Roy Cooper to commute the death sentences of prisoners on death row as a form of racial justice before leaving office this year.

“I haven’t seen any evidence that North Carolina intends to resume the death penalty. “And I don’t see how this would change that,” Greene remarked.

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