Early Executions

Many states execute convicted killers in the evenings. North Carolina, which has three upcoming executions scheduled, waits until 2 a-m. Opponents of the death penalty say they believe the time was chosen to deter their presence and lessen publicity. Prison officials say the early morning hour is the best time logistically, legally and for security. Pamela Walker, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Correction, says that's when the prison is most quiet. Of the ten states that have performed 83 percent of the country's executions since 1976, only North Carolina and Missouri hold executions between midnight and early morning. States such as Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Florida, all in the top five in the number of executions, conduct executions between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.