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Thursday, 20 November 2008


Sharon McEachern

There is an excellent article on the "execution doctors" controversy at the Ethic Soup blog. It's focus is on North Carolina where there hasn't been any state executions in two years, although 163 inmates wait on Death Row at the Raleigh prison. For fear of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling N.C. executions inhumane, due to "cruel and unusual treatment," the N.C. Corrections Board requires a physician to be "present." However, in past a doctor's presence has led to more than merely death certification. Particularly with lethal injections -- doctors observe brain waves in order to tell if an unconcsious inmate is awakening and thus experiencing pain from the lethal heart-stopping drug. Then physician may need to show exactly how much more drug to give, etc. The N.C. Medical Board (which issues physicians licenses to practice) has promised punishment to any doctor who cooperates with the state in an execution. Two weeks ago the dispute went to the N.C. Supreme Court to determine what a physician's "presence," means.
To read the article, go to:

Sharon McEachern

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The StandDown Texas Project

  • The StandDown Texas Project was organized in 2000 to advocate a moratorium on executions and a state-sponsored review of Texas' application of the death penalty. To stand down is to go off duty temporarily, especially to review safety procedures.

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  • Project Director Steve Hall was chief of staff to the Attorney General of Texas from 1983-1991; he was an administrator of the Texas Resource Center from 1993-1995. He has worked for the U.S. Congress and several Texas legislators. Hall is a former journalist.
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