Discussion Continues After Execution Delayed
Wednesday, Mar 07, 2007 - 04:40 PM
Political/General Assignment Reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state medical board now has 30 days to respond to a request by the state to resume the death penalty.
A Wake County judge on Tuesday halted the execution of Allen Richard Holman because the prison could not find a doctor willing to be present for the procedure. State law says a doctor must be present.
It's a policy the state medical board ruled could be an ethical violation by a medical doctor.
Some state lawmakers are supporting a proposal that would hold a doctor harmless by participating in an execution.
So far the medical board isn't commenting on the issue.
The bottom line is that executions are on hold. The question is for how long?
There are 166 people currently on death row in North Carolina.
Since the Department of Corrections says it can't find a doctor willing to be present for executions, the issue is still on hold.
That suits attorney Elizabeth Kumiholm and her client, death row inmate James Campbell, just fine.
Kuniholm has state and federal court suits challenging the legality of North Carolina's death penalty.
The medical board has 30 days to respond to the state's request to essentially bring back the death penalty. Thus far, the board has made no public comments.
Republican state Senator Phil Berger says the medical board needs to get its nose out of this issue. He's filed a bill to that affect.
"This bill would make it fairly straightforward that the medical board has no jurisdiction to sanction a doctor who participates in a lawful execution," Berger said.
Death penalty opponents also have filed bills in the General Assembly, including studying lethal injection methods and halting the procedure until the study is done.
The bottom line is this issue is nowhere near dead.