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Doctors In NC Could No Longer Be Required To Oversee Executions

Lethal injection room
Wikipedia Creative Commons
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Doctors in North Carolina would no longer be required to oversee or participate in executions under a bill heading to Governor Pat McCrory's desk.

House lawmakers gave final approval to the measure Wednesday that allows physician assistants, nurse practitioners or paramedics to oversee executions.

It would also keep information about drug companies and doses of lethal injections private.

"What will happen is there will be thousands, or hundreds of people protesting that company – and so nothing will happen. This bill protects the company, but you will know what the chemicals are in the cocktail," Rep. Leo Daughtry (R-Johnston) said.

However, critics say the bill lacks transparency and would eliminate oversight.

"There is no reason why the public should not know what drug is being used. There is no reason why the whole execution process should be exempt from rule making," Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham) said.

A series of legal challenges have ultimately created a moratorium on the death penalty in the state. No executions have taken place in North Carolina since August, 2006. First amendment legal challenges to the bill are expected to follow.

Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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