(FP'd by SD - If you have a fax machine, let's get them humming.)
(X-Posted from Kleinschmidt2005)
Earlier today in Wake County Superior Court, Judge Don Stephens indicated that he was inclined to rule for the plaintiffs Marcus Robinson and James Thomas and stop executions in North Carolina unless the NC Council of State approves a procedure that does not require the participation of a doctor. Judge Stephens' ruling follows last week's unanimous decision of the NC Medical Board that bars doctor participation in executions. The Board's decision allows only for the mere presence of a doctor at an execution (as required by NC Gen Stat Sec.15-190) and forbids a doctor from intervening in the process any way. The board promises to discipline doctors who engage in and "verbal or physical activity, beyond the requirements of [the statute], that facilitates the execution..."
I have to admit, I am not clear why Judge Stephens believes the Council of State should have anything to do with this, but I find his actions intriguing. I wonder if they can get all these folks to approve it before Stephens makes his ruling at 10 am. But for what it's worth, there's a lot riding on the shoulders of these people tonight: