NC high court to hear case on death penalty process

Raleigh, NC — An administrative law judge was right to order North Carolina’s statewide elected officials to revise the protocol for the execution of prisoners on death row, according to lawyers who are preparing to make that case to the state Supreme Court on Monday.

The state’s top court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case involving five death row inmates that has partly contributed to an unofficial moratorium on capital punishment in North Carolina. A ruling in those inmates’ favor wouldn’t overturn the death penalty or immediately force revised protocols for carrying it out, but would send the case to a lower court for review.

The case essentially centers on whether Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison had sufficient jurisdiction to order the Council of State, which consists of North Carolina’s 10 statewide elected officials, to revise the protocol governing the death penalty.

Read more here.

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