“The legislative urgency to get North Carolina back into executing murderers has reached a fever pitch that looks a lot like bloodlust. It’s an ugly spectacle.
A bill approved by the state Senate late Monday would cast a shroud of secrecy over executions and could end physician participation in them….
This attempt to obscure the execution process comes at a time when serious questions are being raised about the death penalty, including two justices of the U.S. Supreme Court wondering in an opinion this year whether the death penalty is constitutional.
That debate will surely continue, and it should. We need thoughtful discussion of the issue and whether we’re imposing a fair sentence or simply seeking revenge for a terrible crime.
What we don’t need is a General Assembly slicing away at reasonable public understanding of the state’s execution protocols, instead choosing to wrap it all in secrecy.
We’d like to believe it’s still our government, not the personal property of a privileged few in the halls of state government.”
Meanwhile, Raleigh’s N&O put it this way yesterday:
“When the government is putting someone to death in the name of the people, the people have a right to know how it is being done.
But in a macabre and all-too-quick march toward resumption of the death penalty in North Carolina, Republican lawmakers are doing all they can to restart executions stalled since 2006 with a measure now in negotiation between the House and Senate that would drop a requirement that doctors be present at executions. The legislation also would keep confidential the drugs to be used in lethal injection executions.
This is a horribly misguided idea….
The death penalty is the one penalty that can’t be corrected. And DNA testing has revealed that some inmates convicted of crimes that could have brought the death penalty have been innocent. Rather than put executions on a fast track, North Carolina should abandon them altogether.”
Sadly, the bill passed the House today and will be sent to Governor McCrory shortly.