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Today @NCCapitol (April 28): Death penalty bill kicks off busy day of committee hearings

Posted April 28, 2015

NC Legislative Building

— Good morning and welcome to Today @NCCapitol for Tuesday, April 28. Here's what's going on around the legislature.

DEATH PENALTY: The House Judiciary Committee will hear a bill that would allow executions in North Carolina to go forward without a doctor present to monitor the condemned. The bill seeks to help end the years-old legal stalemate over executions in North Carolina. The state last executed a prisoner in 2006.

SENATE SESSION: The Senate will hold its first floor session of the day at 9 a.m. Among the measures on its calendar is a bill that would require insurers cover certain types of therapies for children with autism. A year after it was allowed to languish and then die at the end of session, the bill now has the backing of key senators and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. Senators plan to work for an hour before heading to committees and then returning to the floor at 3 p.m. for more work.

HOUSE SESSION: Members of the House will hold their floor session at 3 p.m. and work until about 6 p.m., House Speaker Tim Moore announced Monday night. The chamber will then take a dinner break and, if necessary, return to work around 8 p.m. to finish work for the evening. If the House follows the pattern set over the past few weeks, lawmakers will take up bills they emerge from committee during the day. Among the bills already on the floor calendar is a measure that would allow police to test GPS monitoring of people convicted of domestic violence crimes. WRAL.com plans to carry this meeting live. Check the Video Central box on our home page.

ADVOCATES: The North Carolina Values Coalition is coordinating a lobby day on behalf of the religious freedom bill that lawmakers said last week would not be taken up this summer. Campaigners will meet at 9 a.m. at the lieutenant governor's office down the street from the Legislative Building before coming over to the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, at 10 a.m., Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg, will host a news conference calling for the General Assembly to pass a bill designed to curb racial profiling. WRAL.com plans to carry this news conference live. Check the Video Central box on our home page.

COMMITTEES: The General Assembly publishes a full legislative calendar daily, and Tuesday's is a particularly lengthy one. Here are some of the bill's we'll be keeping an eye on:

DEBT: Senate Judiciary I at 10 a.m. takes a look at a bill that would make it easier for debt collectors to obtain default judgments against people, even when there is incomplete evidence. This measure is opposed by Attorney General Roy Cooper and consumer advocates.

HELMETS: The House Insurance Committee takes up a bill to repeal North Carolina's motorcycle helmet law. The measure would allow riders to eschew a helmet as long as they have at least $10,000 in insurance coverage. WRAL.com plans to carry this meeting live online at 1 p.m. Check the Video Central box on our home page.

PROFS: The Senate Education Committee will take up a bill requiring professors at University of North Carolina system schools to teach at least four courses per semester and another bill requiring that high school students learn about the gold standard. WRAL.com plans to carry this meeting live online at 2 p.m. Check the Video Central box on our home page.

6 Comments

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  • Tammy Rush Apr 28, 2015
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    I'm guessing it's really a legal issue involving who is required in an official capacity to sign the paperwork. In other words, legal red tape.

  • Abrams Gunner Apr 28, 2015
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    I'm guessing a doctor isn't needed. I can hold a stethoscope to someone's chest to see if I can hear a heartbeat. It's really not that difficult. Problem solved. line em up and crank up "ol sparky".

  • Tammy Rush Apr 28, 2015
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    I'm guessing that's the purpose of this bill, to see if it's really necessary to have a doctor present. I don't know what the law states regarding who has to pronounce the time of death, whether it must be a doctor or if it could be anyone.

  • Abrams Gunner Apr 28, 2015
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    Why would someone being put to death need a doctor?

  • Tammy Rush Apr 28, 2015
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    It's not about the death penalty itself, it's about the need (or requirement?) to have a doctor present during the execution.

  • Abrams Gunner Apr 28, 2015
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    Vote "YEA" on the death penalty bill. Who cares if it's "cruel & unusual punishment". The person on death row sure didn't care about their victim(s) or whether or not they suffered when they committed the crime. They knew that killing someone could get them the death penalty.