State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-2001

§ 15A‑2001.  Capitaloffenses; plea of guilty.

(a)        Any defendant whohas been indicted for an offense punishable by death may enter a plea of guiltyat any time after the indictment.

(b)        If the defendantenters a guilty plea to first degree murder and the State has not given noticeof intent to seek the death penalty as provided in G.S. 15A‑2004 or theState has agreed to accept a sentence of life imprisonment where it initiallygave notice of intent to seek the death penalty, then the court shall sentence theperson to life imprisonment. The defendant may plead guilty to first degreemurder and the State may agree to accept a sentence of life imprisonment, evenif evidence of an aggravating circumstance exists.

(c)        If the defendantenters a guilty plea to first degree murder and the State has given notice ofits intent to seek the death penalty, then the court may sentence the defendantto life imprisonment or to death pursuant to the procedures of G.S. 15A‑2000.Before sentencing the defendant in a case in which the State has given noticeof its intent to seek the death penalty, the presiding judge shall impanel ajury for the limited purpose of hearing evidence and determining a sentencerecommendation as to the appropriate sentence pursuant to G.S. 15A‑2000.The jury's sentence recommendation in cases where the defendant pleads guiltyand the State has given notice of its intent to seek the death penalty shall bedetermined under the same procedure of G.S. 15A‑2000 applicable todefendants who have been tried and found guilty by a jury. (1977, c. 406, s. 2; 2001‑81,s. 2.)