A convicted murderer from Johnston County has become the latest death row inmate to die of natural causes in North Carolina.
Malcolm Geddie was 70 when he died Sunday at a Raleigh hospital, the state Department of Public Safety announced Monday.
Geddie was sentenced to death for the 1994 robbery and shooting death of Reginald Dale Emory in Clayton. He also received an additional sentence of 40 years for the robbery.
Geddie was one of seven death row inmates from Johnston County who claimed in 2010 that racial bias played a role in their sentences and sought to have them changed to life in prison. Geddie was black, and only one black served on the jury that sentenced him to die, according to his lawyers. The request was denied.
Geddie became the 12th death row inmate in North Carolina to die of natural causes since 2006, when the state’s last execution took place.
The state has not executed anyone since Samuel R. Flippen was killed by lethal injection in August 2006 for first-degree murder in Forsyth County. Since Flippen’s death, a series of lawsuits filed in state courts questioning the fairness and humanity of capital punishment have created a de facto moratorium on executions.
At the same time, courts are sentencing fewer people to death in North Carolina, mirroring a national trend away from capital punishment. Of the 146 people on death row, 16 were sentenced since Flippen’s execution a decade ago; 98 of them were sentenced in the 1990s.