A state Senate leader says North Carolina
could have a "de facto moratorium" on executions for up to two
years unless legislators do something.
That's because the state hasn't been able to reach an agreement
with the North Carolina Medical Board on what role doctors can play
A federal judge ruled months ago that a doctor must monitor a
condemned inmate to prevent pain. But in January, the medical board
threatened to punish physicians who take part in an execution.
The state's efforts to resolve that conflict created a legal
morass that led Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens to
place four scheduled executions on hold.
Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said today that the "de
facto moratorium" likely will last 12 to 24 months unless the
Things could get even more confusing next week, when the state
is scheduled to execute convicted killer Allen Holman. He wants to
be executed and has fired his lawyers, meaning there is no one to
seek a stay on his behalf.
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