The North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh.
The North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh. File photo by Angie Newsome/Carolina Public Press

An act amending the law requiring a the presence of a licensed physician at the execution of the death sentence in North Carolina has passed the N.C. Senate and House. It is now headed to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk for review.

Called the “Restoring Proper Justice Act,” House Bill 774 allows guards and/or those designated by the warden to carry out death sentences. The bill abolishes executions by electrocution or lethal gas, and it makes the identities of an execution’s witnesses confidential.

According to the N.C. Department of Public Safety, more than 1,000 people have been sent to death row in North Carolina since the state assumed responsibility for executions in 1910. The prison system houses male death row inmates at Central Prison and female death row inmates at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women. There are currently 148 offenders on death row in North Carolina. Fourteen of those received convictions within the 18 westernmost counties of the state.

According to WRAL, North Carolina has not executed an inmate since 2006.

Here is how the state’s legislators voted on the measure, as reported by the N.C. General Assembly.

NC House

Measure passed, 74-34

Ager; B. Turner; Brisson; Goodman; Jackson; Queen; Salmon; Waddell
Adams; Arp; Avila; B. Brown; Bishop; Blust; Boles; Brawley; Brody; Bryan; Bumgardner; Burr; Catlin; Cleveland; Collins; Conrad; Daughtry; Davis; Dixon; Dobson; Dollar; Elmore; Faircloth; Ford; Hager; Hardister; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; J. Bell; Jeter; Jordan; L. Johnson; Lambeth; Langdon; Lewis; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Millis; Pendleton; Pittman; Presnell; R. Brown; R. Turner; Riddell; Robinson; Ross; S. Martin; Saine; Schaffer; Setzer; Shepard; Speciale; Stam; Stevens; T. Moore (SPEAKER); Tine; Torbett; Watford; West; Yarborough; Zachary
Adcock; Alexander; Baskerville; Brockman; C. Graham; Cotham; Cunningham; D. Hall; Earle; Farmer-Butterfield; Floyd; G. Graham; Gill; Glazier; Hamilton; Hanes; Harrison; Holley; Hunter; Insko; L. Bell; L. Hall; Lucas; Luebke; Meyer; Michaux; Pierce; R. Johnson; R. Moore; Reives; Richardson; Terry; Willingham; Wray
Exc. Absence:Representative(s):
Carney; Fisher; G. Martin
Blackwell; Bradford; Fraley; Hastings; Jones; Steinburg; Szoka; Warren; Whitmire

NC Senate

Measure passed, 33-16

Alexander; Apodaca; B. Jackson; Barefoot; Barringer; Berger; Bingham; Brock; Cook; Curtis; Daniel; Gunn; Harrington; Hartsell; Hise; J. Davis; Krawiec; Lee; McInnis; Meredith; Newton; Pate; Rabin; Rabon; Randleman; Rucho; Sanderson; Soucek; Tarte; Tillman; Tucker; Wade; Wells
Blue; Bryant; Clark; D. Davis; Ford; Foushee; J. Jackson; Lowe; McKissick; Robinson; Smith; Smith-Ingram; Stein; Van Duyn; Waddell; Woodard
Exc. Absence:Senator(s):

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Angie Newsome was the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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