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Lethal StateA History of the Death Penalty in North Carolina$
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Seth Kotch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649870

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649870.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Intelligent and Civilized Sentiments

Intelligent and Civilized Sentiments

Activism, Discretion, and the Decline of the Death Penalty, 1941–1961

(p.111) 4 Intelligent and Civilized Sentiments
Lethal State

Seth Kotch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter tells the history of some of the elements that contributed to the declining use of the death penalty in North Carolina. Journalist Nell Battle Lewis railed against the practice as racist, un-Christian, and barbaric. Paul Green echoed those sentiments as he campaigned to save death row inmates from death. Yet their activism had little tangible result. More significant was a change in state law that allowed juries to formally recommend mercy following a conviction, meaning that judges were no longer required to deliver mandatory death sentences. The end of the mandatory death sentences ended executions, which ceased in 1961 and would not resume until 1984.

Keywords:   death penalty, Paul Green, Nell Battle Lewis, jury discretion, capital punishment, capital punishment abolition

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