Local News

State Senator Files Bill for Execution Moratorium

Posted February 7, 2007

— 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 move by Sen. Ellie Kinnaird, D-Orange, comes one day after state leaders approved an execution protocol that requires a doctor to monitor a death row inmate’s vital signs during the lethal injection.

The policy conflicts with a recent ruling from the North Carolina Medical Board that prohibits a physician from taking part in executions.

The courts put an indefinite hold on North Carolina's death penalty while questions over execution procedures are worked out.

The other question, will the general assembly make a moratorium law?

Although the role of a doctor in state executions is the latest focus of debate, Kinnaird wants a thorough study of a much broader professional code of ethics.

“It means also nurses. It means pharmacists," she said. "Should they be producing the chemicals that kill people? I think it means EMT people.”

Kinnaird's bill calls for a formal halt to executions until at least June 2009 while the study committee does its work.

House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Stam, R-Wake, opposes a death penalty moratorium.

“The same people who want to abolish capital punishment always try to abolish it or put it off,” he said.

Stam believes he is in the majority on this issue. He does not think lawmakers are ready to block state approved executions over protocols.

“The detail about where a doctor is standing or what a doctor's looking at or not looking at is a detail that really doesn't go to the heart of the question at all," Stam said.

Death penalty moratorium legislation has been filed and has failed in recent years. Kinnaird’s bill is the first of many proposals to come up this legislative session.

The  execution protocol approved by the Council of State -- a group of nine state leaders, including the governor, now goes back to court.

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  • Ladidada Feb 10, 2007

    Kill kill kill, die die die, build more $600 Billion for weapons of death and destruction.

    A large portion of America is a death machine and a war seeker.

  • BRUCEY BABY Feb 8, 2007


  • highergame4me Feb 8, 2007

    that was easy - it is www.elliekinnaird.org.

  • highergame4me Feb 8, 2007

    Let's all find her website and send her a nice painfree message! I'm going to look it up now.

  • Huey Feb 8, 2007

    Watch out North Carolina! Orange County liberals are in the
    driver's seat now. You got Joe Hackney in charge and Miss Ellie
    herding the sheep. I have lived and worked in Chapel Hill and
    believe me - they do look down on the rest of the state. This
    state is an embarrassment to them and they aim to change it and
    looks like they are. What is going on in Raleigh that the folks
    sent there by the majority of tar heels won't represent them? Orange County (the big southern part) still drives around with Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers. Most are not native to the state. I was born and raised here and I resent it. Liberal go home. Now, I can hitch up the mule and finish plowing the back 40 before mama has the cornbread ready for dinner. Yawl take care.

  • goheels Feb 8, 2007

    tishachris2004.........I agree with you. Their victims suffer greatly and we are worried they "might" experience some pain while going to sleep permanently??!!! Let's go back to public hangings on the courthouse steps then...it's swift and effective....never knew anyone to survive it. They get 15 to 25 years of appeals and stuff and then some pink-pantied liberal wants to say they might be suffering. So be it!

  • mrichmond13 Feb 8, 2007

    we need to stop killing people until we can at least figure out who's innocent and who's guilty...in the last two years we've let three innocent people off death row. the irresponsiblility of our government is the true capital crime. our idiot governor is nothing but a murderer...

  • Thomas Jefferson Feb 8, 2007

    Um, but I thought doctors had to take something called a Hippocratic oath that states they will not harm "people". Perhaps the answer is to utilize a method that is more swift and certain, and will not require any medical professionals.

  • csmkeith2 Feb 8, 2007

    she should take all the people on death row that are awaiting the "needle" and move them in with her-she has no worries apparently-what about all the victims and families that these killers have ruined their lives-forget the needle-stand them in water & electrocute them! That would be quick!

  • Tax Man Feb 7, 2007

    Good old (and I mean OLD) Ellie - bet she can remember when we used to hang them. Too bad. We need a good, strong death penalty that is carried out within 6 months of the conviction - provide DNA testing and make sure they get a fair trial - then put them down. If a doctor is on the state payroll and they refuse to observe the execution, then they should be permanently terminated from ever serving for the NC government - and they should be permanently barred from practicing medicine in NC. The doctor is not the executioner, they are there to make sure the person executed is actually dead. Let's move on and get these executions back on schedule - personally like public hangings or to volunteer for a place on a firing squad. Ms Kinnard is so liberal she maked Ted Kennedy look like a conservative.