North Carolina halted executions about five years ago. Capital punishment is still legal in the state, but a dispute over the lethal injection process led to a de facto moratorium on the death penalty. Since then, the state’s murder rate has fallen, and investigations of the State Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab have
exposed mishandling of evidence in criminal cases. Matthew Robinson, a professor of government and justice studies at Appalachian State University, has been researching those facts and other data about the death penalty in North Carolina. His findings reveal that capital punishment is more costly than life imprisonment and that race and gender frequently factor into death penalty sentencing.