GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A new law in the Tar Heel state sets new
rules for who is allowed to administer lethal injections to death row
inmates. Friday was the first day nurses and physician assistants was
allowed to give the drug without a doctor present. A doctor must still
sign off that the person has died.
Since 2006, no one has been executed in North Carolina. This, in large part, because many doctors refused to participate. A Duke University study
says capital punishment costs the state more than $11 million a year.
Some of the expense comes from maintaining and securing death row
inmates in high-security facilities with additional guards. These men
and women must be closely monitored while they await execution or appeal
The study also explains that attorneys are paid higher rates when
representing a capital murder charge. Jurors also make more for their
time, which usually is extended in comparison to a life sentence trial.
In Pitt County, three men will head to court in 2015, all facing
capital punishment. Willie Whitehead, Antwan Anthony and Xavier Shamble
will have capital charges if convicted. The three men are accused of
shooting and killing three employees of a Hustle Mart in Farmville in
2012. Anthony is scheduled to be back in court in September. Shamble and
Whitehead will face a judge later this year.
According to North Carolina Department of Public Safety, there are 148 people on death row.
Those inmates are housed at a prison in Raleigh. Some of them have been
appealing the death ruling since 1985. 11 inmates currently awaiting
execution are from Eastern North Carolina.