Taiwan's Death Penalty

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a measure that seeks to resume the state's death penalty. Following nine years of no death penalty, a special requirement that necessitated the presence of a doctor during lethal injections has been removed by the new law.

The state has not conducted an execution since 2006 due to disagreements with the North Carolina medical board after the board said it would punish doctors who agreed to supervise a death penalty. This left doctors who might want to supervise an execution in a Catch-22 situation because doing so could result in them losing their licenses.

New Law Allows Nurses to Supervise Injections

The new law was passed by North Carolina's House of Representatives with an 84 to 33 vote on Wednesday evening. The law allows physician assistants, paramedics or nurses to supervise executions rather than doctors. Supporters of the measure say that it will allow lethal injections to continue in the state after a long reprieve. There are currently 149 convicted inmates who have been sentenced to the death penalty awaiting execution in the state.

The Speaker of the House, Republican Tim Moore, supported moving forward with the death penalty by saying that when a court makes a decision in a particular case, it should be carried out. Nevertheless, lawmakers who are against the death penalty said that they will continue to fight against capital punishment and that executions will probably still be postponed. One Democratic state congressman made statements to the effect that there could be innocent and wrongly convicted people on death row.

No Decision Yet from Governor Pat McCrory

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has yet to state whether he plans to sign the new law or veto it.

Inmates on death row, awaiting execution in North Carolina, may still be able to seek exoneration in their cases. Recently, the state's longest serving inmate on death row was exonerated after it was revealed that he was wrongly convicted in his case. Death row inmates who believe that they were wrongly convicted will want to act now before it's too late.