North Carolina Lawmakers pass Measure aimed at Resuming Executions
On Wednesday, lawmakers in North Carolina agreed to a measure aimed at resuming executions in the state after a break of nine years. The measure has removed the requirement that a doctor should be present in the case of lethal injections.
According to reports, North Carolina has not executed any inmate since last nine years due to conflict with the state's medical board. Before the measure, the board had threatened to take legal actions against physicians who participate in a prisoner's death.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed the legislation in 84-33 vote. The new legislation would also allow physician assistants, nurses and paramedics to supervise lethal injections.
People, who have been supporting the measure, said they hoped the legislation will pave the way for prison officials to restart carrying out death sentences. As per the state Department of Public Safety, there are about 149 inmates on death row in the state.
House Speaker Tim Moore said, "When a court hands down a decision, particularly in the matter of life and death, that decision ought to be carried out." Legislators, who did not vote in the favor the measure, noted that legal challenges to lethal injection protocols could continue to delay executions even if the bill passes.
Some opponents like Representative Pricey Harrison, a Democrat, think it could be horrible that an innocent might be executed due to the legislation. The measure received 84-33 vote, but now it has to pass the state Senate. Leader of the state Senate is in support of capital punishment.
Republican Governor Pat McCrory did not disclose whether he would sign the bill into law. An attorney with the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Elizabeth Hambourger, has questioned the timing of the House move.