Executions were effectively put on hold in North Carolina in early 2007, when the North Carolina Medical Board adopted a policy that made physicians who participate in executions subject to disciplinary action. Five scheduled executions were put on hold, and other death sentences weren't scheduled while the legal dispute was worked out. Separately, death row inmates sued the state over the protocol used in executions.
In the latest move to resume executions in North Carolina, Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry has approved a single-drug protocol for carrying out lethal injections.
North Carolina, which has 156 prisoners on death row, has not executed an inmate since Aug. 18, 2006. Even those who say the death penalty is needed have doubts when it might ultimately be enforced here.
The North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments Monday in a case that could change how the death penalty is administered.
As prosecutors launched a legal challenge Monday to a racial bias law that death row inmates have used to try to overturn their sentences, Republican lawmakers are looking at revising or repealing the statute.
Supporters of a man on North Carolina's death row want a new look at the case after revelations that the state’s top crime lab was plagued by overstated or falsely reported evidence.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 135 of the 159 people on North Carolina's death row had filed a claim under the state's Racial Justice Act.
The state office that defends people facing death-penalty cases has urged defense attorneys to raise a claim of racial bias in all potential capital cases, which prosecutors say will slow the justice system.
A new study by two university researchers has found that someone convicted of killing a white person in North Carolina is three times more likely to be sentenced to death than someone who kills a black person.
Gov. Bev Perdue signed a bill into law Tuesday that prohibits race to determine whether someone faces the death penalty.
Legislation that would allow statistical evidence to establish racial bias as the reason prosecutors sought or jurors imposed death sentences could do away with capital punishment in North Carolina, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby said.
The ruling is the second blow in two weeks for death penalty opponents in North Carolina.
The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that the N.C. Medical Board cannot punish physicians who take part in executions.
Twenty to 30 North Carolina inmates were sent to death row annually in the 1990s. This year, only one man was sentenced to die for his crimes.
The state Supreme Court tries to determine what lawmakers intended when they said a physician must be present at executions.
The North Carolina Medical Board on Wednesday defended its right to punish physicians who participate in executions, arguing in an appeal that the Legislature never intended for doctors to take part.
In a ruling that could affect the use of the death penalty in North Carolina, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Kentucky's use of lethal injection executions Wednesday.
The N.C. Medical Board will appeal a ruling that says it cannot discipline doctors if they participate in prison executions.
The North Carolina Council of State on Tuesday tossed the debate over the death penalty back to the courts, saying it wasn't their place to sort out the controversial issue.
Attorneys for death-row inmates asked state officials Wednesday to put off possible changes to North Carolina's execution protocol in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to address the constitutionality of lethal injections.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to consider the constitutionality of lethal injections.
The North Carolina Medical Board cannot punish physicians for participating in executions, a judge ruled Friday.
A federal court ruling in a Tennessee death penalty case could add to the dispute over North Carolina's execution protocol.
Almost a year has passed since North Carolina carried out its last execution, and observers say no resolution to legal disputes over the death penalty is in sight.
The North Carolina Medical Board overstepped its authority in threatening to discipline any physician who participates in an execution, a judge said Thursday. He also told the Council of State it needs to look at its death protocol again.
That’s a question state lawmakers want answered, and now they're calling for a study before there's any movement to restart executions in North Carolina.
An administrative law judge must decide whether the Council of State needs to reconsider the way North Carolina executes death-row inmates.
A state judge ruled Monday that death-row inmates might have the right to argue the merits of lethal injection with state officials.
A physician who has observed several recent executions said he never helped put any inmates to death, further clouding a dispute between state prison officials and the state medical society.
Death row inmate Allen Holman says he's unhappy his execution is delayed and said he doesn't think a physician is needed to carry out his death sentence.
A handful of doctors wrote letters to the N.C. Medical Board last spring regarding their concerns about a physician's role in capital punishment.
The state Department of Correction filed suit Tuesday against the North Carolina Medical Board over the board's policy to discipline any physician who participates in an execution.
A state lawmaker filed a bill Wednesday that would impose an official moratorium on lethal injection until legal and ethical questions can be answered.
The Council of State approved a revised plan for carrying out the death penalty in North Carolina. However, executions are not expected to resume anytime soon.
More than a dozen state legislators Monday joined the call to Gov. Mike Easley for an indefinite suspension of all executions.
A revised death penalty protocol would have doctors monitor inmates for any sign of suffering.
Gov. Mike Easley says a Superior Court judge was right to call on the Council of State to act in a conflict that has halted execution of prisoners.
A decision by a Wake County judge Thursday to halt executions until state officials could figure out a way to carry out the death penalty without physicians caught the attention of state lawmakers.
A Wake County judge on Thursday halted two executions planned for the next week until state officials can devise a plan to carry out the death penalty without physicians.
A Wake County judge said Wednesday that he would block three scheduled executions if state officials cannot come up with a protocol for carrying out the death penalty without physicians.
Attorneys for Marcus Robinson and another inmate say the state cannot guarantee deaths are painless.
A North Carolina Medical Board committee took a step Wednesday toward approving a measure that could have an impact on capital punishment in the state.