Uncategorized

Could NC executions turn out like Oklahoma’s disaster?

090309-1854-memotodeath1.jpgThe recent disastrously botched execution of inmate Clayton Lockett  in Oklahoma has caused some people who closely follow such grisly matters to compare and contrast the situation there to the one here in North Carolina. As Kristen Collins wrote yesterday on the  blog maintained by the N.C. Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, North Carolina could indeed turn out to be the next Oklahoma:

“Maybe you have heard by now about the horribly botched execution in Oklahoma this week?

That inmate’s protracted, painful death, and the national firestorm that has erupted in its wake, provide a preview of what could happen in North Carolina if its current execution protocol is ever put into practice.

The Oklahoma execution was carried out using an untested combination of drugs whose source was kept secret. The execution was scheduled, despite a legal challenge over this secrecy, only after the Supreme Court changed its mind due to political pressure. (Do those highly politicized Supreme Court elections sound familiar?)

North Carolina recently created a new execution protocol that would allow our state to stumble into all the same pitfalls:

  • The protocol was decided unilaterally by the state Department of Public Safety, with no provisions for public input.
  • It does not require the state to reveal the source of its drugs.
  • It calls for the use of pentobarbital, the very drug that other states are struggling to find, forcing them to turn to unregulated compounding pharmacies.

North Carolina’s protocol is being challenged in court, and Oklahoma is Exhibit A for why our state must take this litigation seriously.

In this gravest of public functions, the public deserves absolute transparency. The state must explain to us how it will ensure that executions do not violate the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Right now, there are no guarantees that we would not have the same disastrous results we have seen in Ohio and Oklahoma. Until our courts shine more sunlight on North Carolina’s protocol, it would be irresponsible to even consider restarting executions.”

 

Check Also

New report: Amazon a top employer of food assistance recipients

Good lord — maybe this is why Amazon ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

“I could choose to do anything else with $50.” But Anca Stefan, a high school English teacher in a D [...]

The Cape Fear River is damaged, contaminated by decades of human malfeasance, negligence and ignoran [...]

Legislative Services Officer Paul Coble appears to be violating the state public records law and is [...]

This morning, the state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the pivotal case of Silver, et al. [...]

These are extraordinary times in the American experiment with representative democracy. In Washingto [...]

Public education in North Carolina has its share of challenges, not the least of which has been the [...]

The post Time to come clean appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

Tax Day in 2018 in North Carolina presents an opportunity to make sure our tax code allows us to mee [...]

Now hiring

NC Policy Watch is now hiring a Managing Editor – click here for more info.