- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - A nonprofit law firm that works on capital punishment cases notes that North Carolina is headed toward the end of 2015 with no new death sentences for the year.

The Durham-based Center for Death Penalty Litigation said that 2015 is on track to be only the second year since 2012 that juries didn’t send anyone to death row.

It’s also been nearly a decade since North Carolina’s last execution in 2006 because of factors including various legal challenges.

The center says that in the 1990s, North Carolina typically imposed more than 20 new death sentences per year.

Death Penalty Litigation Executive Director Gretchen M. Engel said that decrease in death sentences shows society understands that the capital punishment system can make mistakes as execution numbers are dropping around the country.

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