More than one-third of North Carolina
adults now believe life in prison is the most appropriate
punishment for first-degree murder as support for the death penalty
wanes. That's according to a new poll.
Researchers at Elon University say the poll found that 58
percent of adults support the death penalty. But only 48 percent
say it's always the most appropriate punishment for those convicted
of first-degree murder. Another ten percent said the sentence
depends on the circumstances.
About 38 percent of respondents said they believe life in prison
is the most appropriate sentence for murderers.
Those numbers indicated a significant shift from a November 2005
poll that showed nearly two-thirds of adults supported the death
The poll comes as North Carolina's top officials try to figure
out how to break a legal stalemate that has placed an effective
moratorium on the death penalty.