Thursday, 31 May 2007

House keeps two death penalty bills going


House keeps two death penalty bills going

House lawmakers added funding to 2 death penalty bills Thursday to keep
them alive for the rest of the 2-year session.

One bill, House Bill 1691, would suspend executions for 2 years while
lawmakers study what changes need to made to the capital punishment

"We're just asking to study this and not have any executions for two
years," said Rep. Beverly Earle, a Charlotte Democrat.

The other, House Bill 1526, would narrow the number of aggravating factors
that would qualify someone to receive the death penalty.

Both bills added provisions to spend $30,000 to study the cost of the
state's death penalty system.

The House subcommittee approved adding the funding provisions, which will
keep the bills alive, but did not debate the merits of the bills.

However, prosecutors oppose both bills.

"It's just another back door elimination of the death penalty," said
Branny Vickory, the district attorney for Greene, Lenoir, and Wayne

Right now, there is a de facto death penalty moratorium while litigation
settles questions about what role, if any, doctors should play in
executions. Prison officials have proposed doctors monitor inmates' vital
signs during executions.

But the N.C. Medical Board has issued a new ethics policy that prohibits
doctors from doing anything more than be present at an execution.

(source: News and Observer)

No comments: