Hearing Today On Council Of State's Approval Of Execution Protocol

The legal battle over executions in North Carolina heads to court today.

It centers on whether attorneys for death row inmates were unfairly denied the chance to address the state's top elected leaders when they adopted a new execution protocol in February.

The protocol adopted by the Council of State says a doctor would only observe the execution and later sign a death certificate.

The panel took that action after the state Medical Board adopted a policy in January threatening to punish physicians who participate in executions

Attorneys for the Council of State tried to halt today's administrative hearing. They said Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison doesn't have jurisdiction over the matter.

A Wake County Superior Court judge has said the hearing can be held.