Historically, suicide – if unsuccessful – was punishable as a crime. Actually, in Europe, a person who committed suicide could be “punished” by being denied a burial in a typical cemetery and by having at least some of his property go to the King.
At common law, in North Carolina, suicide remained a crime. However, North Carolina has abolished that law, and so people who attempt suicide and fail are not punished as criminals.
Here’s the statute:
N.C.G.S. 14-17.1. Crime of suicide abolished.
The common-law crime of suicide is hereby abolished as an offense.