Executions are at an all-time low in the United States.
More states are following the lead set seven years ago in Illinois, placing a temporary hold on the death penalty while they examine the fairness of capital punishment.
North Carolina isn't part of that group -- yet.
A judge halted three executions this week and a clutch of new lawmakers arrived at the Statehouse. There is hope among death penalty opponents that lawmakers who have rejected the idea for years may be ready to consider imposing a moratorium on executions in North Carolina.