A Duke University professor says North Carolina could save $11 million a year if it stopped trying to execute killers.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday that prosecutors sought the death penalty in about a quarter of all murder trials from 2005 to 2006. Criminals were sentenced to death in less than 5 percent of the cases.
Duke economist Philip Cook published the study this month and will present his findings to lawmakers.
Cook says the rarity of death sentences in North Carolina means the penalty doesn't deter criminals. About 1,000 criminals were charged with murder in North Carolina in 2005 and 2006 and prosecutors sought the death penalty in about 250 of the case. Only 11 people were eventually sentenced to death.