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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