A Wake County judge has stopped two
executions scheduled on successive Fridays, saying a recent
decision regarding the role of doctors must be approved by the
governor and the Council of State.
North Carolina law requires a doctor be present at executions.
Until recently, they helped monitor a patient's vital signs. But
the North Carolina Medical Board decided last week that any
participation by a doctor, beyond merely attending the execution,
violated its ethics policy.
In a filing in a separate case that cited the medical board's
decision, the state said Monday a doctor would no longer monitor
the inmate's vital signs, a duty it's turned over to a nurse and
emergency medical technician.
Judge Donald Stephens cited a law from 1909 that requires the
governor and the Council of State to approve any change in the
execution process. He ordered a halt to the executions of Marcus
Reymond Robinson and James Edward Thomas until officials approve
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