State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_15A > GS_15A-2004

§ 15A‑2004. Prosecutorial discretion.

(a)        The State, in itsdiscretion, may elect to try a defendant capitally or noncapitally for firstdegree murder, even if evidence of an aggravating circumstance exists. TheState may agree to accept a sentence of life imprisonment for a defendant atany point in the prosecution of a capital felony, even if evidence of anaggravating circumstance exists.

(b)        A sentence of deathmay not be imposed upon a defendant convicted of a capital felony unless theState has given notice of its intent to seek the death penalty. Notice ofintent to seek the death penalty shall be given to the defendant and filed withthe court on or before the date of the pretrial conference in capital casesrequired by Rule 24 of the General Rules of Practice for the Superior andDistrict Courts, or the arraignment, whichever is later.

(c)        If the State hasnot given notice of its intent to seek the death penalty prior to trial, thetrial shall be conducted as a noncapital proceeding, and the court, uponadjudication of the defendant's guilt of first degree murder, shall impose asentence of life imprisonment.

(d)        Notwithstanding anyother provision of Article 100 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes, theState may agree to accept a sentence of life imprisonment for a defendant uponremand from the Supreme Court of North Carolina of a capital case forresentencing or upon an order of resentencing by a court in a State or federalpost‑conviction proceeding. If the State exercises its discretion and doesagree to accept a sentence of life imprisonment for the defendant, then thecourt shall impose a sentence of life imprisonment. (2001‑81, s. 3.)