If the State is Going to Kill People, It Must Be Open About It

by Brian Irving
LPNC Vice Chair

It's becoming standard operating procedure for the Republican-controlled legislature to ram bills through with little public notice or debate. Their latest exercise in oligarchical power is House Bill 774, with the factious title Restore Proper Justice Act. 

The bill removes safeguards, removes requirements for public rule-making processes, allows for the state to withhold basic information about the execution drugs and protocols, and no longer requires doctors to be present. This will make it more likely executions will be botched, as has happened in other states. 

North Carolina is not a democracy. It's not even a republic. It is becoming an oligarchy, and not a very good one at that. 

Rep. Leo Daughtry says the bill is not about the death penalty. He's right. But it is about government integrity, transparency and openness. It is about the people's right to know. 

Even if you believe in state-sanctioned executions, it is a dangerous activity. Secrecy further increases the risk by hiding from the public information critical to ensuring an execution is carried out properly. Executing a person is one of the most serious actions the state can take. The process should be open and transparent. No government program should operate in secret. 

The Libertarian Party of North Carolina believes state-sanctioned revenge never serves the cause of justice and therefore opposes execution of prisoners.

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Introducing North Carolinians to the Libertarian Party is a critical part of building support for our 2016 candidates. That work starts now with outreach efforts at major events throughout the state. At these events, we give away materials that introduce our party and our position on important issues. But the library of materials we use to do this is running critically low. 

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Racial Healing Too Important to Trust to Politicians

by John Evans

I am going to try to say something useful about the cold and calculated murder of those nine saintly Christians in Charleston, S.C. First, let us listen to the testimony of the family members who forgave the killer. These people are serious Christians. They opened their door to God and were compelled by the love they found there to welcome a stranger into their midst.

John_Evans.pngThe young man who killed them had second thoughts because of the love and hospitality they showed him. For an hour, he listened to the offer of a better way of life. In the end, he chose poorly. He had hoped to ignite a race war. He has misjudged. Charleston is not Baghdad. Those good people proved him wrong by rising up in a mighty wave of love, dignity and respect. Twenty thousand marched to help wash away the malodorous stain of that day.

What now? What about the future of our country, our culture and our hearts?

I believe that we white folks need to be braver than we have in the past. I believe that we must accept a painful truth -- deep inside, many of our black neighbors do not feel able to trust us much, and I don't blame them.

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