The headline says it all. I am floored. Mark Kleinschmidt, the Executive Director of the Fair Trial Initiative, has more on his blog. He notes:
I was caught off guard by Judge Stephens’ reliance on a little referenced NC statute that requires the Governor and the Council of State to approve execution protocols. The posture of the proceedings are similar to the recent moratorium imposed in Maryland when it was pointed out to a trial court there that the Maryland execution procedures had not been properly vetted through required public hearings and approved by the legislature.
Mark has since updated the story with:
The press was on this quickly today. WRAL’s Amanda Lamb reports here AP’s Estes Thompson here & N&O staff here.
“We will not appeal the stay at this time,” said Noelle Talley, spokeswoman for Attorney General Roy Cooper. “Our attorneys will consult with the Department of Correction and the Gov.’s Office to determine the appropriate steps to take.”