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August 12, 2006

(Too many?) witnesses to an execution

beThis AP article spotlights a novel legal issue arising in a North Carolina capital case:

More than 40 relatives of a death row inmate have filed a lawsuit asking that all of them be allowed to attend the execution scheduled for next week, lawyers said.  The Central Prison warden has told Samuel Flippen that only his parents can attend the execution, which defense attorneys say violates a state law that allows any relatives to attend an execution of a family member....

In a written statement, Flippen's attorneys said they will ask a judge for a temporary restraining order Monday to stall the execution unless all relatives are allowed to attend.  The room where witnesses usually watch an execution is small and typically must accommodate reporters, law enforcement, and family members of both the victim and death row inmate.

The article notes that Flippen's attorneys also have pending challenges to North Carolina's lethal injection protocol.  Ah ... the joys of last-minute capital litigation.

August 12, 2006 at 07:55 AM | Permalink

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