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Supreme Court to rule on death penalty dispute

Posted September 30, 2008

Death Row, Death Penalty, Execution

— The death penalty debate will move to the state Supreme Court in November.

The high court has agreed to hear a dispute over the role of physicians in North Carolina executions. Arguments are scheduled for Nov. 18.

Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens ruled a year ago that the North Carolina Medical Board overstepped its authority by threatening to punish physicians for participating in executions.

The board adopted the policy early last year, saying the profession's code of ethics should prevent physicians from taking part in an execution. The policy effectively triggered a moratorium on the death penalty in North Carolina, which has not executed an inmate since August 2006.

State law requires that a doctor be present during a lethal injection, and a federal judge demanded last year that a doctor oversee the process of putting an inmate to death.


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  • Tax Man Sep 30, 2008

    Hope the Supremes can get this party back on track! Let's clear death row in November! Clean slate for 2009. Just remove the requirement for doctors completely - we don't need them. Let the Red Cross teach a class on "death penalty injection techniques" and give certificates - anyone with a Red Cross certificate can work at the executions! Pay these folks $1,000 per execution and you will have them standing in line. Time to get rid of these death row folk - time to die.

  • Cricket at the lake Sep 30, 2008

    Too Much Govet, extremely well said.

  • vote4changeASAP Sep 30, 2008

    When human life can be developed by other means than combining two cells and attaching them to a unique environment other than a human uterus, then we can argue when life actually begins.

    Until conception, human life does not exist, only cells.

    Just punish those who steal life from those who appreciate theirs.

  • TooMuchGovt Sep 30, 2008

    For the morally challenged who think that unborn humans have less rights than say an unborn eagle, please consider the very first line of the U.S. Constitution (the Preamble) which declares that its purpose is to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Posterity means people who have not been born yet. I think high on the list of blessings everyone would want for themselves would be to NOT be killed on purpose by a doctor.

  • Tired Of Excuses Sep 30, 2008

    MOCENA....well said.

  • Tired Of Excuses Sep 30, 2008

    1. Let a nurse give the injection. A doctor is not present when flu shots are administered.
    Heck, let ME give the injection!

  • mocena Sep 30, 2008

    "I agree. If it is against medical ethics to assist in killing a condemned prisoner, then it is against medical ethics to murder the living unborn."
    Nope, you're wrong there. The issue with abortion is deciding exactly when a being has rights. For most pro-lifers, life begins at conception, but for most pro-choicers, it begins at birth, and therefore the unborn have no rights. THAT is the ethical quandary and has nothing to do with killing someone who is clearly born and clearly has rights.

  • vote4changeASAP Sep 30, 2008

    I agree. If it is against medical ethics to assist in killing a condemned prisoner, then it is against medical ethics to murder the living unborn.

  • enoughsenough Sep 30, 2008

    Lets it get started!

  • miketroll3572 Sep 30, 2008

    Couldn't have said it better Twright530 and The_Future......