In North Carolina, since the mid-1990s, the state has had a structured sentencing system for crimes. Felonies are categorized by letter (A through I). Misdemeanors are handled separately, and categorized by (A1 – most serious – to Class 3).
A Class A felony is first degree murder, punishable either by death or by life (without parole). B1 is the next series of crimes, and includes 1st Degree Forcible Rape, and 1st Degree Forcible Sex Offense.
B2 felonies are slightly less serious, including 2nd Degree Murder and Attempted First Degree Murder.
A B1 felony is among most serious felony in North Carolina for which the death penalty is not an option.