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It seems Gov. Pat McCrory is hearing it from all sides when it comes to House Bill 774, the “Restoring Proper Justice Act.”
The bill, sponsored by Johnston County Republican Leo Daughtry and approved by the state House and Senate last week, would render much about North Carolina’s execution process secret. That includes the maker of the lethal injection drugs and the rule-making process itself, which would be prepared by state administrators.
Despite the fact that the bill’s concealing provisions have not taken effect yet, the N.C. Department of Public Safety has not responded to multiple inquiries from the Indy since last week regarding the origin of the state’s execution drugs.
The bill would also remove the provision that a doctor be present at the execution, a response to a growing number of doctors who claim that their cooperation violates their Hippocratic Oath.
On Tuesday, a group calling itself N.C. Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty added to the surge in calls for McCrory to veto the legislation.
“This legislation is bad policy for North Carolina,” said the group’s coordinator, Ballard Everett, in a statement. “Conducting executions is the most extreme expression of the state’s power and should be done in an open and transparent process. Making secret the way in which our state obtains the drugs needed and conducts executions practically guarantees that NC will join states around the country that have seen horribly botched executions.”
Everett is referring to three reported instances of lengthy, apparently painful executions witnessed in the U.S. in 2014 as states began turning to experimental drug combinations and drug providers with little oversight for their executions. Here are some gruesome accounts of the deaths of convicted murderers Clayton Lockett and Dennis McGuire last year.
It’s the result of larger pharmaceutical corporations’ decisions to ban their products for use in capitol punishment.
“Even the bill’s sponsors have admitted passage of H774 would invite more costly litigation,” added Everett in his statement. “Why then are they committed to wasting more tax payer dollars by creating more issues that have to be litigated in courts?”
Groups such as the ACLU of N.C., People of Faith Against the Death Penalty and the Center for Death Penalty Litigation are also advocating for McCrory to veto the bill.