On December 2, 2005, Kenneth Lee Boyd became the 1000th person executed since the US reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The use of capital punishment had been de facto banned for 4 years after the US Supreme Court's ruling in Furman v. Georgia before the Court reaffirmed its constitutionality in Gregg v. Georgia. Boyd's pleas for clemency were denied by both then-Governor Mike Easley of North Carolina and the US Supreme Court. Boyd argued for a life sentence, rather than the death penalty, for the 1988 murder of his wife and father-in-law, and expressed regret that he would be remembered as a capital punishment statistic.
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