Shirley Burns knows about murder from both the point of view of both the victim and the killer.
She's the mother of Marcus Robinson, who's scheduled to be
executed January 26th. And she's also the mother of Curtis Lamar
Green, who was found dead by a Cumberland County road in April.
Three people have been charged in Green's death, including one
accused of first-degree murder, the same crime that landed Robinson
on death row.
The Hope Mills woman spoke Thursday to a House committee, asking
legislators to acknowledge problems with North Carolina's capital
punishment system and stand up for change.
Burns and nearly all of the 15 people who spoke at a hearing
asked the panel to recommend either a temporary moratorium on
carrying out the death penalty or abolishing executions in North
The state Senate in 2003 approved a two-year pause on executing
death-row inmates, making it the first legislative chamber in the
South to approve a moratorium. But the House never took up the
issue during that session.
In 2005, a House committee approved a moratorium, but it never
got to the floor because there weren't enough votes.