Local News

N.C. Medical Board Policy Could Affect State Executions

Posted January 17, 2007

Death Row, Execution (Generic)
The North Carolina Medical Board took a step Wednesday toward approving a measure that could have an impact on capital punishment in the state.

The board's Policy Committee voted unanimously to pass a new policy that prohibits doctors from taking part in executions.

Under North Carolina law, doctors do not administer the lethal injection, but must be present when an execution takes place in case something goes wrong.

The new proposed policy states that a doctor can be present for an execution, but cannot in any way participate in the process. Doctors who violate the policy could lose their licenses.

"It's hard for me to imagine a medical professional put in that position would risk his license," death penalty opponent Roberta Bas said.

Protestors holding a vigil at the State Capitol for Marcus Reymond Robinson, 33, whose execution is set for Jan. 26, weighed in on the decision.

"I would not want to go to a doctor I knew had a part in putting someone to death," protestor Scott Bass said.

If the full board votes in favor of the policy Thursday afternoon, state lawmakers will have to decide how future executions would be handled in North Carolina.

Two other executions are scheduled at Raleigh's Central Prison: James Edward Thomas on Feb. 2 and James Adoph Campbell on Feb. 9.

A clemency hearing for Robinson was held in Raleigh on Wednesday. Hearings have also been scheduled for Thomas and Campbell.

Death penalty opponents plan to keep pushing for a moratorium on executions. They say three deaths in three weeks might at least raise awareness about flaws in the state's judicial system.

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  • geowilrlst Jan 22, 2007

    Use a Rope and drop from twice how tall they are ! Head seperates and they might flop around for a little while but they will be dead !

    Rope can be reused !

    Cheap and quick !

  • ncnurse Jan 18, 2007

    Who needs a doctor.... The goal is not to get them well. The goal is to kill them. Heck with the doctor, he would probably just get in the way anyway. As for the black hood, don't need that either, just give me a syringe and some drugs and open the door so I can get to him and I can get the job done! Or a rope and a tree, that would work just as well! The latest issue by the lawyers "pain and suffering during the process" - who cares? How many of these yahoos were concerned about their victims pain and suffering when they were commiting the murder?
    My thoughts, hang em, gas em, inject em, shoot em, I don't care, just get rid of the sorry rascals, I'm tired of my tax dollars being wasted on them.

  • superman Jan 18, 2007

    Does the new policy of having a doctor present in case something goes wrong -- that if the guy doesnt die-- he will assist in the execution to make sure he dies as planned. Good deal-- sounds like it will insure that the execution is successful.

  • ssodor Jan 18, 2007

    What exactly necessitates the presence of a doctor "in case something goes wrong?" Under the current system doctors do not administer the lethal injection, but one can assume they are participating in some way if something goes awry during the process.

    So if the Medical Board passes this new policy stating that doctors may only be present for the execution and not participatory, then wouldn't that jeopardize the handling of the person being executed if in fact something did go wrong? Doctors would only be allowed to observe and not participate. I would think that would hinder the safety of the process.

    Just a side note - I hope I'm not the only one who thinks the phrase "moratorium on executions" is hilarious.

  • bubbaredneck Jan 18, 2007

    Why don't the people opposed to the death penalty work as hard at trying to stop the crimes punishable by death. This is the only solution to the problem!! We wouldn't have 3 in 3 weeks if they hadn't committed the crime!! I also think we shouldn't feed them for so long before we execute.90 days is a plenty!! Use that money for schools and we won't have to get involved with this stupid year round thing!!!

  • G-man Jan 18, 2007

    So how can a doctor pronounce someone dead??? Not to mention the thousands doctors kill every year.

  • S-O-L Jan 18, 2007

    I love it. Doctors acting holier than thou. The only thing they care about is their mountain house their beach house and their jaguar!

  • firemen27546 Jan 18, 2007

    if you think this will stop the executions. it not going to happen there is other ways around this give them a choice
    go to iraq or get execution that way we can bring some of our soldies

  • BLA BLA BLA Jan 18, 2007

    Firing squad, 5 headshots couldnt be wrong.

  • BIG YAWN Jan 18, 2007

    A doctor CAN be there but can not participate in the procedure is the new policy.
    A doctor MUST be present in case something goes wrong is the old policy.

    So no doctors needed, no issues.....HIT THE BUTTON!