State High Court Upholds Doctors At Executions Ruling

North Carolina's highest court has ruled that a medical licensing board overstepped its power with a policy to discipline doctors who participate in executions.

The ruling Friday upheld a lower court ruling and could result in a resumption of executions in North Carolina, which have been on hold for more than two years.

Medical Board spokeswoman Jean Fisher Brinkly said simply, "We were not successful."

A spokesman for the Department of Correction had no immediate comment.

Lawyers for the state argued that a doctor should monitor an execution to prevent cruel or unusual punishment. But the medical board and the American Medical Association said state lawmakers wanted a doctor to be present but not actively participate.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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