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.)
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.