Advocates of a moratorium on executions in North Carolina have conceded that they don’t have the votes to pass it and said they might wait until next year to try, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. The measure passed the state Senate but faces long odds in the House of Representatives, where only about 50 out of 120 members seem to be for it as the session winds down, said Rep. Paul Luebke, a Durham Democrat and the moratorium bill’s senior sponsor in the House. If the House goes home this summer without voting, it can take up the bill during next year’s “short session,” giving proponents more time to try to build support among the public and politicians.
The proposed two-year moratorium would halt executions during an examination of alleged flaws in North Carolina’s death-penalty system, such as prosecutorial misconduct, racism, class bias and inadequate legal representation. Opponents of the moratorium say it’s unnecessary because the state’s legal system is fair. They argue that the push for a moratorium is a veiled attempt to end the death penalty.
Moratorium supporters said have accumulated supporting resolutions and petitions from 21 local governments, more than 35,000 state residents, and at least 1,132 businesses, congregations, community organizations and other groups from all 100 North Carolina counties.