Local News

Easley Says Judge Made Right Call on Death Penalty

Posted February 1, 2007

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, but he also says the question of whether the state's system for executions is legal will not stop there.

“I think the Council of State will have to approve what the warden puts forward. If they approve that protocol, then the case is ripe to go back into court,” Easley said Thursday.

At the heart of the issue is a debate over the role of doctors in state executions.

The Department of Correction has argued that the current protocol follows the law and North Carolina Medical Board regulations. A doctor must be present at an execution, but nurses and paramedics are supposed to monitor the prisoner’s vital signs to determine when he is dead.

The Medical Board has issued a regulation, however, that forbids doctors to be present.

Last week, Judge Donald W. Stephens issued an injunction holding up executions scheduled for last Friday and this Friday.

Observers expect the General Assembly to become involved, too.

"The issue is enormous,” said Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake County. “I can't imagine that the Legislature isn't going to take up the issue of executions how they should be administered and whether we should have a moratorium.”

Easley says he still opposes a moratorium, but he also said he could not predict when and if executions will resume in North Carolina.

State leaders are expected to review execution protocol details over the weekend. The Council of State will take up the matter at its Tuesday morning meeting.

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  • cnsallen Feb 5, 2007

    Mike, hears your sign. "COWARD"

  • WXYZ Feb 5, 2007

    FYI: The state of NC regulates all health care professions via legislative "acts" which demand the creation of a "board" (of people) and of a "practice act" (which is a set of laws and rules) with which each health profession is policed. A common factor of all health care practice acts is that no licensed health care practitioner may "do harm" (physical, mental, situational etc) to anyone, anywhere, anyway, anytime, by any means or under any circumstances. Each state board must publish it's "position" on how the rules are to be interpreted and applied. The State Board of Medicine has spoken. Now, all other State Licensing Boards must make their "position" on this and other situations in which a licensee may be involved in "doing harm". I expect to hear much more on this situation.

  • lumberman Feb 2, 2007

    I just wonder if this guy had killed Gov. Easley mother or child would he feel the same way. When someone breaks into an 80 year old woman's house rapes her and kills her to me that is cruel and unusual. But to simple put the convicts slowly to sleep without any raping, beating, cutting or shooting is cruel. This country along with all it's money hunger lawyers has gone to hell in a hand basket. To get ahead in the usa just go to jail plenty to eat and all the rights you care for. While poor Joe citizen pays the bill.

  • superman Feb 2, 2007

    Change the law and does away from the Medical Board and the execution can move forward swiftly. Hit those freaks where it hurts. If they cant control the doctors license -- no problem.

  • robbincasino Feb 2, 2007

    So we can't execute the criminals because of "Protocol?" Where was the "protocol" when the slime bags killed their victims? Did the criminal bother to check with the Gov. before they committed their crimes to find out about the ethics of it? I would have to guess not. Frankly it's just my opinion that the murderer should be put to death the exact same way they killed their victims. Then no Doctor, Nurse or "Protocol" will be violated.

  • Bob3425 Feb 2, 2007

    It's time for this Gov. Easley to go home, election are coming.
    Does this mean doctor shouldn't be present at abortion? I'm not clear on that.

  • woody Feb 1, 2007

    you are right on the money
    another spinless example is our north carolina use to be senitor John Edwards
    he suported the war then says he made a mistake and in a church in new york told the people its ok to change your mind
    seem the churchs have become more into politics

  • They call me CATMAN Feb 1, 2007

    Another example of a spineless politician passing the buck so he does not have to make a decision. DO your job MIKE.