In a recent Greensboro News & Record op-ed, Marshall Hurley, a long-time Republican in North Carolina, questioned giving the state authority to carry out executions when the current practice of capital punishment fails to meet conservative standards and risks innocent lives. He stated:

For those who believe in the virtue of limited government and criticize roundly when government does not work well, capital punishment does not meet fundamental conservative standards. Not only is it applied arbitrarily, but our judicial system cannot even figure out how to examine it properly. Forty-seven judges reviewing a single case over more than a dozen years may assure some that justice is served; to others, it evinces an appeals process in disarray, a game of such utter complexity that nothing is certain except delay and dismay. No one is well served - not families of victims, not law enforcement and certainly not the judicial system.

North Carolina conservatives, liberals and everyone in between should question whether our state government should authorize execution of people when we know, to a moral certainty, that some of them are innocent. There is no principled justification for any conservative to place limits on government power in all other areas, but grant it the power to kill, knowing it will make mistakes.

(Greensboro News & Record, July 27, 2003). See New Voices.