Blanche Taylor Moore becomes the fourth woman on death row in North Carolina, the most the state has housed in the 80 years since it assumed the power to execute criminals.
Moore will be imprisoned in a special death row section of the N.C. Correctional Institution for Women on Bragg Street, just off Interstate 40 in southeastern Raleigh.She's the second woman this month sentenced to death in the state. Patricia W. Jennings, 48, of Morehead City was condemned Nov. 5 for the beating death of her 80-year-old husband.
The other women on death row are Barbara T. Stager, sentenced last year for the murder of her husband, Durham High School baseball coach Russ Stager; and Donna Sue Cox, convicted of killing a Bladen County used-car dealer in 1987.
Forsyth County officials took Moore to the prison within an hour after her sentence was announced Friday.
Moore will be confined with other death row inmates in a special seven-cell wing, said Bill Poston, N.C. Department of Correction spokesman. Death row prisoners are kept in ``wet cells,' so called because each has a sink and commode so that guards can avoid the security risk of walking inmates to a communal lavatory.
Death row inmates are allowed out of their cells between breakfast and 11 p.m., but are confined to a limited area. They can visit a nearby day room within the cell block for television and reading material.
``There is a small recreation yard where they're allowed to go for an hour each day,' Poston said. ``When they're out there, it's just them and the correction officers.'
For security reasons, inmates eat with plastic utensils. The dinner menu Friday was corn dogs, cabbage, corn, lima beans, oranges and iced tea.
Death row inmates aren't allowed to work in prison industries such as the making of license plates. They can have visitors once a week, but each visitor must be approved in advance by a prison administrator.
Moore, like all new arrivals to death row, will be kept in isolation for 15 days to a month before moving to death row, Poston said.
There are 79 men on death row at Central Prison in Raleigh.
If and when her death penalty is carried out, Moore will be executed at Central Prison, where the last woman executed, arsenic poisoner Velma Barfield, was killed by lethal injection in November 1984.
Barfield became the third woman executed in North Carolina since 1910. Barfield also was the first woman executed in the United States in 25 years.
The other two women to be executed in North Carolina died in the mid-1940s. Bessie Mae Williams of Charlotte died in the gas chamber Dec. 29, 1944, for her part in the robbery and murder of a cab driver.
Rosanna L. Phillips of Durham died in the gas chamber Jan. 1, 1943, for helping her husband kill a farmer for whom they worked.