Facing Controversy: Struggling with Capital Punishment in North Carolina

12 March 1982: Stay of execution for Velma Barfield

This order staying the execution of condemned murderess Margie Velma (née Bullard) Barfield was issued on 12 March 1982 by United States District Court Judge Frank Dupree. Barfield's attorneys argued in their appeal to Judge Dupree that there were inconsistencies in the jury selection process during Barfield's trial. Dupree issued this order for temporary reprieve until these inconsistencies could be adequately investigated. Barfield's appeal was later denied and her death sentence was carried out on 2 November 1984. She was the first woman in the United States to be executed by lethal injection.

(Image from Franklin Taylor Dupree, Jr., Papers, #4806, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

1982: Stay of execution for Velma Barfield

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