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March 14, 2011

The latest news on one capital litigation front in North Carolina

Though North Carolina has not had an execution in nearly five years, it has plenty of notable death penalty litigation on-going.  Though I am not sure of the exact status of the on-going litigation over the state's Racial Justice Act, this local article, headlined "N.C. Supreme Court to hear arguments about death-penalty protocol," provides the latest news on the state's lethal injection litigation:

An administrative law judge was right to order North Carolina's statewide elected officials to revise the protocol for the execution of prisoners on death row, according to attorneys who are preparing to make that case to the state Supreme Court on Monday.

The state's top court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case involving five death-row inmates that has partly contributed to an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment in North Carolina.  A ruling in those inmates' favor wouldn't overturn the death penalty or immediately force revised protocols for carrying it out but would send the case to a lower court for review.

The case essentially centers on whether Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison had sufficient jurisdiction to order the Council of State, which consists of North Carolina's 10 statewide elected officials, to revise the protocol governing the death penalty.

The council argued that Morrison's 2007 ruling lacked that force.  A Wake County Superior Court judge ruled in the council's favor, and now attorneys for the death-row inmates are asking the Supreme Court to settle the issue.

March 14, 2011 at 12:44 PM | Permalink


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I'm glad to see it has finally made it's way to the state supreme court. It had been two years without any news on this case.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Mar 14, 2011 2:18:10 PM

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