Bill Could Block Medical Board Penalty For Doctors In Executions

Capital punishment supporters tried an end-run Thursday in the state House to get executions back on track in North Carolina. The effort stalled due to technical problems, but is expected to pop back up next week.

The House was scheduled to vote on a bill that would codify and
clean up a broad set of laws relating to the practice of medicine
in the state. Harnett County Republican David Lewis proposed an
amendment that would have blocked the state Medical Board from
punishing doctors who assist in executions.

The board has threatened to pull the license of doctors who
participate in executions. That threat is part of a courthouse
battle that has stalled the death penalty in the state.

Lewis said it's wrong for a non-elected board to block
executions when the majority of North Carolinians support the death
penalty. He says he fixed a couple of drafting mistakes in the
amendment and believes the House will approve it next week -- but
he expects the chamber's Democratic leaders will find some way to
derail it.