The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruling in Robinson v. Shanahan is available in Adobe .pdf format.
"NC appeals court says hearing needed to establish who decides death penalty drugs, procedure," is the AP report filed by Emery P. Dalesio, via the Republic.
North Carolina's Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a lower court should consider whether an appointed state official or a state rulemaking commission should decide how to execute convicted killers.
The appeals court ordered a trial court to consider the facts around the General Assembly's decision last June to change state law and give Gov. Pat McCrory's appointed public safety agency chief the power to establish execution procedures. Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry issued a 20-page manual in October describing how workers at Central Prison and the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women would carry out executions.
The new rules say condemned prisoners will be injected with a short-acting barbiturate such as pentobarbital, which is frequently used to put animals to death. Perry's manual for handling executions also would let prison authorities determine who can witness how the death penalty is carried out, what questions reporters can ask in interviews, and other details.
There are 151 people on death row in North Carolina, including two women. The state has not carried out any death sentences since 2006.
"Court of Appeals sends death penalty protocol back to trial court," is by Sharon McCloskey for NC Policy Watch.
A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals sent the challenge to the state’s recently-adopted lethal injection protocol back to the trial court today for further findings as to whether that protocol must undergo the administrative rule-making and review process before becoming effective.
Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry had adopted a new protocol without such review in October 2013, after the General Assembly empowered him to do so with amendments to the law relating to executions passed last June.
WRAL-AM reports, "Court: NC may need to develop death penalty rules," by Mark Binker.
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has sent a case challenging the state's death penalty procedures back to Superior Court so that a judge there can decide a technical matter in the case.
North Carolina has not executed an inmate on death row since August 2006 due to a complex set of cases that challenged whether the state was constitutionally executing people, as well as due to the now-repealed Racial Justice Act, which allowed death row inmates to challenge their sentences.
This case – brought by inmates Marcus Robinson, James Edward Thomas, Archie Lee Billings and James A. Campell – involves the method by which prisoners are executed.
Earlier coverage from North Carolina begins at the link. You can also jump to coverage of North Carolina lethal injection issues. Because of a variety of legal issues, North Carolina has a de facto moratorium on executions.